Leaders of the campaign to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday said that they would launch the second stage of the recall process on Wednesday next week, aiming to gather 300,000 signatures in 30 days.
The Central Election Commission on Friday last week announced that a petition to recall Han had collected enough signatures to pass the threshold for the first step of the recall process.
The commission said that 28,560 signatures were verified as valid, higher than the required threshold of 22,814.
Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times
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.
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 have 60 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the city’s eligible voters, or about 230,000 people, the commission said.
Dubbed the “four gentlemen of the recall Han campaign,” the campaign leaders are WeCare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立), a former Kaohsiung Cultural Affairs Bureau director-general; a spokesman for Citizens Mowing Action who uses the pseudonym Dr Leo; Chang Po-yang (張博洋), a representative of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, and Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), the initiator of the campaign.
Yesterday they visited the city’s Yicheng Temple (意誠堂) to pray and make an offering to the gods, to say thank you for the successful recall rally on Dec. 21, and to ask for a blessing to reach the threshold for the next stage.
In related news, the Kaohsiung City Government yesterday accused writer Ku Ling (苦苓) of slander.
The city government had said that holding a recall vote for Han vote and related activities would cost NT$200 million (US$6.68 million), which would place a financial strain on it.
Ku wrote that if citizens succeeded in voting Han out of office, the city government could save NT$120 billion.
“Since Han took up the position of mayor, he has saddled the city with NT$40 billion in debt,” Ku said. “Based on this rate, if Han finishes his four-year term, the debt could reach NT$120 billion.”
The city government said: “We demand that Ku Ling clarify his statement immediately and make a public apology, or we will file a lawsuit against him.”
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on