A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has collected enough signatures to pass the threshold for the first step of the recall process, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Friday.
A total of 28,560 signatures were verified as valid for the petition, exceeding the required minimum of 22,814, the CEC said.
Under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), the first step in the three-step recall process is to raise a proposal containing the signatures of 1 percent of the constituency’s eligible voters.
Photo: Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times
In the case of Kaohsiung, with an estimated 2.28 million eligible voters, this works out to be 22,800 or more signatures.
In the second phase, the initiators of the petition — which was submitted one year after Han’s inauguration on Dec. 25, 2018, as required by law — have 60 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the city’s eligible voters, or about 230,000, the CEC said.
Under the act, the previously collected signatures would not be considered valid for this step.
For the recall to pass the third phase, a simple majority must vote in favor of a recall, with at least 25 percent of eligible voters participating, about 570,000 people in the case of Kaohsiung, the CEC said.
Through the Kaohsiung City Government Information Bureau, Han said that he would “respect the decision of the people,” adding that his priority is to spare no effort in managing city affairs.
WeCare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) urged city officials not to interfere with the Kaohsiung City Election Commission’s processing of the petition.
Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文), who is also chairman of the city’s election commission, said that the act has no such requirement, but promised that the petition would be handled fairly and justly.
As Han declared his candidacy in the presidential race just three months after beginning his term as mayor, WeCare has accused Han of abandoning Kaohsiung.
Han has said that he was urged to run by KMT officials.
He began taking time off to campaign for the presidency in October last year, two months short of serving one full year as mayor.
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