Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday defended himself against a recall vote that is scheduled to take place next month.
In a written defense released by the Central Election Commission (CEC), Han, of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), listed 15 of his achievements since taking office in December 2018, such as pushing for investments to create new jobs in the city, saying that “he will brave the storms and move ahead.”
In his 5,600-word defense, Han said that due to the efforts of his administration to boost the city’s tourism industry, a US-based business group in January submitted an application to partner with Kaohsiung to develop a “Love Ferris Wheel” project in the city.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Han had promoted the project during his mayoral campaign as a landmark and tourist attraction to be built along the city’s Love River.
He also tried hard to invite potential business partners to invest in Kaohsiung and bolster the city’s economic development, Han said.
He also mentioned a project to build a science park in the city’s Ciaotou (橋頭), which he said would create about 11,000 jobs and generate up to NT$180 billion (US$6.02 billion) in annual production value.
Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) also promoted the science park project when he ran against Han as the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate in the 2018 mayoral race.
Citing the Buddhist Heart Sutra, Han said in his defense that no fears exist in his mind.
The CEC last month verified public endorsements for a recall petition to remove Han from office.
A recall vote is to be held on June 6.
Civic groups initiated the recall petition in June last year, after Han announced a presidential bid less than six months into his mayoral term.
The groups said that Han launching a presidential bid so soon after being voted mayor angered many Kaohsiung residents, who thought that he was not giving priority to the city’s governance.
The CEC plans to open 1,823 voting booths for the recall vote, but it has yet to find enough venues to do so, as many schools have been reluctant to provide space, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
CEC Chairman Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) said that the commission would use space from the private sector and erect tents to set up voting booths.
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