Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如)yesterday said that her move to Kaoshiung was for personal reasons, not because she is eyeing a possible mayoral by-election.
The Chinese-language Up Media on Wednesday reported that her move to former TPP caucus assistant Tsai Yi-fang’s (蔡宜芳) previous home in Kaohsiung was in preparation for a possible by-election for Kaohsiung mayor, should a recall vote oust Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The Kaohsiung City Election Commission on Tuesday said that the second stage of a petition to recall Han passed the signature threshold to initiate a recall vote.
The Central Election Commission on Wednesday said it had received the assessment, but added that an ongoing verification process needs to be completed before it could make a decision regarding the recall vote.
Tsai Pi-ju said she had relocated to Kaohsiung in January or February and the decision was personal and unrelated to electoral concerns.
“I have just now turned my thoughts to the issue of running for Kaohsiung mayor,” she said, adding that she could not formulate a substantial response to a hypothetical question.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the TPP’s chairman, was aware of her decision and had not reacted beyond acknowledging it, she said.
Discussions must be held within the party over electoral issues, but it would not overlook any election that moves it closer to its goal of winning a presidential election, she said.
TPP spokesman Tsai Chun-wei (蔡峻維) said that Tsai Pi-ju’s move was a personal decision and should not be overinterpreted.
The TPP is focused on COVID-19 prevention efforts, but should there be a recall vote and by-election, the party would fully respect local opinions, he said.
Tsai Pi-ju’s duties often take her to central and southern Taiwan to promote parity of political influence between the north and the rest of the nation, Tsai Chun-wei said.
Tsai Pi-ju is leading by example and would fully support TPP Legislator Chang Chi-lu (張齊祿) in representing the public interest of southern Taiwan in the Legislative Yuan, Tsai Chun-wei said.
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