Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Friday urged supporters not to vote in the June 6 referendum to recall him, saying that “democracy means respecting diversity and embracing freedom.”
“I hope people will not get too worked up or antagonistic,” he said in a video posted on Facebook, adding that his supporters should “not engage in any political activities” on the day of the vote and those outside of Kaohsiung should not travel to the city.
He said that everyone, while observing disease prevention measures, should instead “go out for a stroll, spend money and, as much as possible, not allow their lives and their businesses to be affected by politics.”
Photo: Huang Chia-lin, Taipei Times
In response to the video, Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) said that the message was a trick, and that if Han is recalled he would say that it was because his supporters did not vote.
Yin said that Han had also previously lied about property transactions, which he later said were common knowledge.
Han is “two-faced like Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣),” Yin said.
Attorney Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) had filed for an injunction against the recall on the same day that Chiang visited Kaohsiung, Yin said.
Han has acted in ways that were an abuse of power, and has torn down signs advertising the recall, Yin added.
Wecare organizer Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), the lead petitioner of the campaign to recall Han, said that the mayor has claimed to be focused on municipal duties, when he has actually been working toward stopping the recall.
“Han said the recall was no big deal, but to him it clearly is a big deal. It is like when he said he would not abandon the city and go run in the presidential election, which is exactly what he did,” Chen said, adding that Han has refused to hold a city council meeting on the recall.
“Today, the nation’s junior-high school students are taking their university entrance exams. You would think Han would instead use yesterday’s video as an opportunity to offer words of encouragement,” Democratic Progressive Party Kaohsiung City Councilor Chien Huan-tsung (簡煥宗) said.
A topic covered in the social studies portion of the exams concerns elections and recalls, so it would have been fitting for Han to address it with students, Chien added.
Meanwhile, former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) — who had previously called on Han’s supporters to vote in opposition to the recall — yesterday said that supporters should respect Han’s wishes, and encouraged them to go out and spend money to support Kaohsiung businesses.
Chiang on Friday also shared Han’s video on Facebook.
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