Sun, Feb 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Alex Tsai recall push enters final stage

DIRECT DEMOCRACY:An Academia Sinica researcher called the recall ballot set for next Saturday ‘the most important event in Taiwanese democratic history’

By Chen Yen-ting and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Members of the Appendectomy Project hold up signs with the text “Recall Vote 2.14” at Wende Station on the Taipei MRT in Taipei’s Neihu District yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Appendectomy Project yesterday called on people to participate next Saturday in the voting to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元).

Students participating in the rally in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) wore costumes made from trash bags, a silent retort to Tsai’s comments last year that the college students starting the campaign were “trash.”

The campaign’s student representative Tseng Kuang-chih (曾光志) said that the costumes were sending the message that they were not the trash, but trash bags without the trash.

Tseng called on all residents of the Neihu and Nangang districts (南港) to cast their vote regardless of whether they support the campaign.

“Voting is the most direct implementation of direct democracy,” Tseng said, adding a broad invitation for residents to join events held on Saturday at Dahu Park and on Sunday in front of the Presidential Office Building to “celebrate the victory of democracy.”

Taiwan currently employs the system of representative democracy, though there have been calls in recent years calling for a transition to direct democracy, citing what critics have described as the impotence of democratically elected representatives.

Academia Sinica researcher Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) also called on the residents of the two districts to show up at what he called “the most important event in Taiwanese democratic history.”

Huang also urged the Taipei City Government to be on the ball and see that residents in the two districts who are eligible to vote get their ballots, adding that if the residents have not received their ballots by Thursday, they should ask their borough wardens about it.

“Do not allow others to take away your right to vote,” Huang said.

Writer Neil Peng (馮光遠) said he had not expected to see the next-generation successors to the spirit of the Constitution 133 Alliance, which started to recall legislators in 2013, adding that he would make an appearance to back the movement.

However, Peng said that the nation might have to look into the threshold for recall, as it was too high.

The fourth constituency in Taipei, comprising Neihu and Nangang districts, held 299,257 individuals of eligible voting age.

According to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公務人員選舉罷免法), more than half of the eligible voting population must vote in the recall, or 149,764 people, with the vote supporting the recall amongst all valid ballots reaching or exceeding half, or 74,882 votes, for the recall to be substantiated.

The name of the recall campaign is a play on words since the term for pan-blue lawmakers in Chinese, lan wei (藍委), is homophonous with the word for “appendix” (闌尾).

The campaign ostensibly seeks to sort the wheat from the chaff by recalling legislators whom the campaign singled out as having failed the public by following only President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) instructions.

To date, only KMT legislators have been targeted.

This story has been viewed 2967 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top