A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) is expected to clear an initial threshold for getting the proposal on a ballot as the number of signatures collected nears 30,000, organizers said yesterday.
If the petition succeeds, it would be the first time a mayor is recalled in Taiwan, said the group Citizen Mowing Action, which organized the petition with We Care Kaohsiung and other groups.
“Recalling Han is difficult, but it is the right thing to do,” said a Citizen Mowing Action spokesman surnamed Lee (李).
The campaign is not funded by any political parties or corporations, so group members have to pay for expenses out of their own pockets, Lee said.
Citizen Mowing Action and We Care Kaohsiung on Thursday last week began distributing and collecting petition forms to recall Han, who is contesting the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary.
The purpose of the petition is to punish Han for giving little thought and effort to running Kaohsiung and to stop opportunists from blurring the nation’s sovereignty and manipulating cross-strait relations, We Care Kaohsiung said on Facebook on Saturday.
In addition to sending signed petition forms to the groups, people can also mail them to the offices of the Taiwan Radical Wings or the Democratic Progressive Party’s Kaohsiung city councilors, the organizers said.
Taiwan Radical Wings spokesman Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) said that it would organize a march in Kaohsiung to urge people to recall Han on July 14, after the KMT has conducted a poll to determine its candidate for next year’s presidential election.
“If you love Kaohsiung, you should love it your entire life. You cannot look down on the city, then pursue it, but finally abandon it,” he said.
The march is inevitable, as Han has broken his promise to be mayor, he said.
Asked why Taiwan Radical Wings chose to hold the march on the day before the KMT unveils the result of its primary poll, Chen said that the party cares more about the interests of the public than its own development.
Recalling Han is expected to be a lengthy battle and the key challenge is passing a second-stage threshold for initiating a recall election, he said.
When asked about the petition yesterday, Han told reporters in Kaohsiung that the city government must be responsible and quickly complete its tasks.
“As for other issues, such as political manipulations and people’s political opinions, it is a democratic society and I respect them,” he said.
Under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), to launch an election to recall the mayor, 1 percent of the electorate, or 22,814 residents in Kaohsiung, must sign a first-phase recall petition; and 10 percent of the local electorate, or 228,134 residents, must sign a second-phase petition.
To recall the mayor, 25 percent of Kaohsiung’s electorate must vote in favor of recalling him, with the number of “yes” votes exceeding the “no” votes.
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