Mon, Dec 26, 2016 - Page 3 News List

NPP’s Huang faces recall vote over marriage stance

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang attends a public hearing on food imports from Japan in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: CNA

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.

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