A campaign to unseat New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) because of his vocal support for marriage equality has collected enough signatures to submit a recall petition, while the New Taipei City legislator reaffirmed his stance on gay marriage.
An alliance founded by New Taipei City residents opposed to gay marriage organized a signature drive in Sijhih (汐止) on Saturday and announced that it collected 3,124 valid signatures, exceeding the amount required to file a petition for a recall vote.
At least 2,511 signatures are needed to submit a recall petition and 25,119 signatures to launch a recall vote in Huang’s constituency, New Taipei City’s 12th electoral district covering Jinshan (金山), Wanli (萬里), Sijhih and other districts.
Alliance director Sun Chi-cheng (孫繼正) said they would submit the recall petition and signatures on Feb. 1 — the anniversary of Huang’s inauguration — to the Central Election Commission to proceed to the next step of the recall procedure.
Sun criticized Huang for “cheating the voters by campaigning for gay marriage without trying to honor his election promises.”
“Sexual education materials are rampant on campuses, so is sexuality,” Sun said.
Sun said Huang snubbed the opponents of proposed same-sex marriage legislation who petitioned Huang’s office against it last month, while Huang exposed the personal information of petitioners, causing them to become the target of Internet harassment.
Supporters of the campaign also cited Huang’s “substandard” performance in terms of local services, saying that he was hardly seen organizing any local events.
It was the first attempt to recall an elected official following an amendment to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), which was approved on Nov. 29 and lowered the threshold for submitting a recall petition from collecting the signatures of 2 percent of all registered voters of a constituency to 1 percent, while reducing the required number of signatures supporting a recall petition from 13 percent to 10 percent of voters in a constituency.
“I support the public’s right to practice democracy, but the recall campaign will not change my stance on marriage equality,” Huang said yesterday.
He said he should be judged in terms of his legislative performance, adding that all his work is open to public inspection.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
CHANGING IT UP: With Bopomofo rarely used outside of Taiwan, the lawmaker said that Romanization would help the government in its internationalization efforts Tainan City Councilor Lee Chi-wei (李啟維) yesterday called for the use of Romanized spellings to make Taiwanese dialects and languages internationally recognizable. Speaking at a news conference in Tainan to mark International Mother Language Day, Lee said the use of zhuyin fuhao (注音符號, Mandarin phonetic symbols commonly known as Bopomofo) made it difficult to promote interest in, or recognition of, the nation’s dialects and languages, as the system is not commonly used outside of Taiwan. “The legislature has already passed the Development of National Languages Act (國家語言發展法), but under the current circumstances that act is like a candle in the wind,” he
CULTURAL CAPITAL: Taiwanese can act as ambassadors while teaching in the US, by exchanging views with their colleagues and friends, one Mandarin teacher said Most US students take Chinese classes because they want to know more about China, but Taiwanese teachers can make a change with more flexible pedagogic approaches and cultural exchanges, two local teachers said. Since the US last year canceled its Fulbright programs with China and Hong Kong, Taiwan has been granted a larger quota of scholarships, including the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Fulbright Program, which is funded by the US Department of State and comanaged in Taiwan by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen last month encouraged Taiwan to fill the gap left by the closures
CHINESE AGGRESSION: The bill seeks to empower Taiwan by calling for a free-trade pact and authorizing the US president to use military force to defend Taiwan US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced in the US Congress the Taiwan invasion prevention act, aiming to boost Taiwan’s ability to resist Chinese aggression. While the bill was introduced last year by Scott and former US representative Ted Yoho, it was not listed onto the formal agenda in the run-up to the US presidential election in November last year. “We can’t sit back and let Communist China continue to threaten our democratic ally Taiwan,” Scott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter, urging US President Joe Biden and other Democractic senators to “take a stand for democracy” and