Former Kaohsiung Information Bureau director-general Anne Wang (王淺秋) and lawyer Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) yesterday filed a request with the Taipei High Administrative Court to halt an expected recall vote of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), claiming that campaigners “jumped the gun” in collecting signatures.
Petitioners on Tuesday passed the second-stage threshold needed for a recall vote after the Kaohsiung City Election Commission finished reviewing more than 400,000 signatures.
The commission confirmed 377,662 signatures to be valid after duplicates and signatures with incomplete information were removed.
It was to report the result yesterday to the Central Election Commission, which is expected to hold a meeting to review the case on Friday next week.
A vote must be held 20 to 60 days after a recall case is established.
Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立), who has been leading the campaign to recall the mayor, yesterday said that the filing by Wang, Han’s spokeswoman in last year’s mayoral election, and Yeh was as if Han had lost a game of mahjong and was “flipping the table.”
“This is ridiculous behavior,” Yin said.
The results announced on Tuesday were a review of the second-stage signatures, but Han’s filing addresses the first stage of the process, he said.
Han should have raised his issues then, Yin said, questioning why the mayor had waited until the results were announced to mention them.
“This means that Han Kuo-yu is running out of tactics and can no longer find any reasons to refute the expression of Kaohsiung residents,” he said.
Chang Po-yang (張博洋), deputy director of Taiwan Statebuilding Party’s news department, said that he could not believe that a person who “ran away” was accusing petitioners of collecting signatures too early, referring to Han’s announcement less than a year after assuming office as mayor that he would take a leave of absence to campaign for president.
Han’s announcement that he would file a request to stop a vote fewer than 12 hours after the petition passed its second-stage signature threshold shows that he did not take the recall petition seriously before, and now, the entire Kaohsiung City Government is desperate, Chang said.
More than 370,000 signatures have been approved, but Han is disputing the 20,000 signatures collected during the first phase, he said.
“This is like a child arguing,” he added.
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