A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) garnered 117,818 signatures in five days, the organizers of the petition said yesterday.
Before bowing in front of cameras for 30 seconds at a news conference in Kaohsiung, the four organizers said they aimed to collect 300,000 signatures within 30 days, before the petition drive ends.
Lead organizer Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮) thanked fellow Kaohsiung residents for their support, and said that he would continue to work with Citizens Mowing Action (公民割草行動), WeCare Kaohsiung, the Taiwan Statebuilding Party and others to recall Han.
Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
“This is quite a monumental result, so we bow to you, Kaohsiung,” Chen said, commenting on the number of signatures.
Since taking office, Han has seriously lacked neutrality in handling city government affairs, and as the city’s election committee is under the city government’s administration, those who sign the petition should be prudent about avoiding mistakes, Chen said.
Use of simplified Chinese characters, abbreviations or mistakes in writing could be grounds for the city government to invalidate the petition, he said.
He called on the city government not to interfere with the petition, so that it could remain fair and transparent, Chen said.
Those involved in the petition have been insulted and threatened by Han’s supporters, but they would continue to demonstrate love and tolerance toward them, he said.
“A recall has nothing to do with party affiliation. Recalls cross party lines,” Chen said.
WeCare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) also urged Han’s supporters to avoid verbal attacks on those working on the petition, saying that they were volunteers and have been working hard.
Petitions are a moderate and rational course of action, and a normal part of the democratic process, he said.
“Han Kuo-yu is like a dark cloud over Kaohsiung, and the city’s residents have had looks of gloom and despair since this cloud arrived,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party News Department deputy director Chang Po-yang (張博洋) said.
If Han had any sense of shame he would resign so that the city’s “honor and glory could be restored,” Chang said.
Petition organizers hoped to set a precedent for others nationwide to follow in the protection of democracy, Citizens Mowing Action said.
NOT BUYING IT: One of the goals of Beijing’s Cross-Strait Media People Summit was to draw mainstream media executives to discuss the ‘one country, two systems’ formula Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool of China’s “united front” campaign, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, responding to media queries about the lack of Taiwanese media executives at the Cross-Strait Media People Summit in Beijing. Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Huning (王滬寧) was reportedly furious that no Taiwanese media representatives attended a scheduled meeting with him on Thursday last week. “Beijing should take Taiwan’s determination to pursue freedom and democracy seriously. We also hope that it will not use vicious means to interfere with Taiwan’s development into a
IMMIGRATION REFORM: The legislative amendments aim to protect the rights of families to reunify, and to attract skilled professionals to stay and work in Taiwan Foreigners who are highly skilled professionals, top-prize winners in professional disciplines, investment immigration applicants or have made special contributions to Taiwan can soon apply for permanent residency on behalf of their spouses and minor or disabled children after the legislature approved amendments to the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法). The amendments, which were proposed by the Ministry of the Interior and approved by the Executive Yuan on Jan. 12, aim to attract foreign talent to Taiwan and encourage them to stay. They would take effect once they are signed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The amendments involved changing 63 articles, making it the biggest
FIRST STEP: Business groups in Taiwan welcomed the deal, which does not include tariff reductions at this stage, as they called for the elimination of double taxation Taiwan and the US yesterday signed an initial agreement under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. The agreement was signed yesterday morning by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Ingrid Larson in Washington, the Office of Trade Negotiations in Taipei said. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) and Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Taiwan and the US started talks under the initiative in August last year, after Taipei was left out of the Washington-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. “The deal that will be signed tonight is not only very historic,
Beijing yesterday blamed US “provocation” for an incident last week in which a Chinese plane crossed in front of a US surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. The incident came at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US this year. “The United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) said when asked about the latest incident. “This