Sun, Feb 02, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Campaign to recall KMT lawmaker falls through

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) yesterday survived a recall campaign initiated by an alliance that said he has failed to serve public interests and is just President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “yes-man.”

By the deadline yesterday at noon for the one month it had to gather signatures, the Constitution 133 Alliance said it was just 1,686 short of the 37,468 signatures — or 13 percent of Wu’s constituency — needed to fulfill the second stage of a recall motion.

The recall movement was launched in August last year, with the alliance aiming to hold the recall vote this year — the Year of the Horse — to demonstrate public discontent with Ma.

The Chinese zodiac sign for this year has the same Chinese character as Ma’s surname.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) in December approved the first phase of the recall campaign against Wu, after the alliance submitted the required minimum number of signatures — 2 percent of Wu’s constituency.

The alliance apologized to the public for failing this time, attributing it to an “unreasonably” high threshold to initiate a recall motion and accusing the commission of bias by setting the deadline to coincide with the Lunar New Year holiday.

Nonetheless, “the support that we received should serve as a wake-up call for Ma, Wu and other legislators who go against the public will,” the alliance said.

“With the rise of civic awareness in Taiwan, you will all receive your just dues,” the alliance said, adding that the Wu campaign is just the beginning, and not the end, of efforts to bring legislators back on track.

The alliance said it would continue to recall legislators who “blatantly violate the public will” and would start by targeting lawmakers who support pushing through a controversial cross-strait service trade pact and oppose renegotiating the agreement with China.

The agreement, signed on June 21 last year, is due for review in the Legislative Yuan this year. Opposition lawmakers have called for renegotiating terms with China on items that are deemed unreasonable.

The alliance said that it would work closely with other civic organizations on controversial issues in the agreement.

Meanwhile, Wu said he fully respects the public’s right to recall him, but as the results have shown, “Taiwanese voters made a wise choice.”

The alliance also urged the Legislative Yuan to amend the Civil Servants’ Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).

The act deprives civilians of their rights to participate in politics, it said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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