Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday announced plans to initiate a recall campaign against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers who support lifting a ban on imports of food products from five Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, with those in New Taipei City being their first targets.
“The KMT, as the largest opposition party, naturally is deeply concerned about this issue that could profoundly affect public health. It is obligated to supervise President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration,” Hung said during a meeting of the party’s Central Standing Committee, which was moved to New Taipei City yesterday.
Panning the DPP government’s holding of 10 public hearings within three days last month as an attempt to “sneak [its policies] through by deception,” Hung said the KMT’s mobilization of local officials and supporters during the hearings was justified, as they were intended to inform the public of the controversy.
Hung said she is grateful to the party members who initiated the anti-import referendum last week, adding that while KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and the KMT caucus have launched separate nationwide referendum drives, that does not suggest disorganization or a lack of leadership, but rather a concerted effort by party members to launch a converging attack on Tsai’s administration.
Hung made the remarks just hours after Hau announced the establishment of a food safety alliance in Taipei yesterday morning.
There have been rumors that the government plans to lift the import ban, which was imposed on all food imports from five Japanese prefectures — Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — after the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
During the meeting, KMT Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said the KMT has the duty to help the public wield the sword of recall and sweep pan-green lawmakers from government.
As the result of DPP-initiated amendments to the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) last month, the legal threshold for voter turnout in a valid recall election has been lowered from 50 percent of the total eligible voters to 25 percent, and therefore it is reasonable to expect that the DPP can be “reduced to a minority,” Alex Tsai said.
Alex Tsai said information gathered by the KMT showed that DPP lawmakers representing New Taipei City are the most vulnerable to a recall, calling for city residents to work with the KMT to get rid of them.