The Appendectomy Project recall campaign aimed at ousting legislators was nominated to participate in this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, one of the largest global events for the creative industries.
Appendectomy Project spokesperson Lin Zu-yi (林祖儀), also known as “Mr Lin from Taipei” (台北林先生), yesterday said that he hopes the team’s participation will publicize the vibrancy and progress of Taiwanese democracy on a global scale and add to the nation’s medal counts in the festival — one gold and three bronzes so far, he said.
A group of netizens founded the Appendectomy Project last year to try to oust lawmakers who had ignored the public in the wake of the Sunflower movement, and the project overcame many obstacles and established several landmarks in the nation’s recall elections, he said.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
The project began on May 5 last year and sought to collect the signatures of 13 percent of eligible voters in a constituency within 30 days to pass the required threshold for a legislative recall petition as stipulated by the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), Lin said, adding that the requirement was unreasonable.
With the help of the V Project online publicity campaign, the organizers recruited 3,000 volunteers to collect 60,000 signatures within eight hours to pass the threshold during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29 last year, leading to the nation’s first recall vote since 1994 and generating more than 5,000 news reports, he said.
Such an achievement amazed the festival’s organizers, who invited the team to participate in the competition, Lin said.
Even though the landmark recall referendum in February failed to unseat Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), the team has continued to push for amendments to the recall act and has held seminars nationwide to promote their ideas, Lin said.
The team plans to launch a legislative watchdog Web site with other groups to provide voters with a reference point for next year’s legislative elections, he said.
The head of the recall Tsai campaign, identified only as Ashley, said that although the referendum failed to attain the required 50 percent voter turnout, an overwhelming majority of the 79,303 votes cast supported the recall.
The Apppendectomy Project plans to push for a lowered recall election threshold to secure constitutional rights to remove ‘unworthy’ officials from office, she said.
The other two recall campaigns initiated by the project — to recall KMT legislators Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) and Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) — failed to draw support from at least 13 percent of voters from the lawmakers’ respective constituencies during the signature-gathering period to require referendums.
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