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Voters in support of recalling KMT lawmaker hold rally

Voters in support of recalling KMT lawmaker hold rally

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) On the eve of a vote to recall Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan (???), those supporting recalling the veteran lawmaker held a night rally in suburban Taipei to drum up support for their appeal. The rally began at Dahu Park at 5:30 p.m., with Yao Li-ming (???), the campaign manager of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???), scholar Huang Kuo-chang (???) and writer Neil Peng (???) attending. Popular mayor Ko is expected to "pass through" the rally at around 9:30 p.m. to lend his support. Ko also posted a message on his Facebook page asking voters to make a "date at polling stations on Valentine's Day on Feb. 14." The message may have violated Taiwan's election law, according to the Taipei City Election Commission, citing a clause that bans campaigning for or against the recall motion other than when collecting signatures to endorse a recall vote. The commission said it had received reports that Ko's post might be problematic and will review the matter after Saturday's vote. If Ko is found to have violated the law, he will be subject to a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million. Peng, one of the initiators of the recall movement, has said previously that legislators were not guaranteed full four-year terms if they reneged on their campaign promises, and that lawmakers who toe the party line without regard for public opinion will face the same consequences as Tsai. The group also panned Tsai for supporting a cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in-services agreement Taiwan signed with China in mid-2013, a deal they argue has many loopholes unfavorable to Taiwan.
Tsai also supported a crackdown by riot police on students who stormed the Executive Yuan during a student movement in protest of the trade pact in early 2014, and has shown bias against new immigrants, the group has argued. Tsai has responded to the recall movement by urging people "to ignore it and to not go to the polls" in a bid to keep turnout low. Under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, half of all eligible voters must go to the polls for a recall vote to even be valid, and a majority of those votes must support the recall for the motion to pass.
If a recall vote is successful, the individual targeted cannot serve as a candidate for the same post within four years. In Tsai's fourth electoral district in Taipei (which covers Neihu and Nangang), there are 317,434 eligible voters, meaning that at least 158,717 voters have to cast ballots for the results of the vote to stand. The threshold will be hard to attain. In five by-elections for legislative seats around the country held on Feb. 7, turnout ranged between 30 and 38 percent.
Tsai, 61, has been a member of the legislature since 2002. He was last elected in 2012 with 111,260 votes. The movement to recall three KMT lawmakers -- Lin Hung-chih (???) and Wu Yu-sheng (???) and Tsai -- was initiated during the student-led Sunflower Movement protest in early 2014 against the way the Legislature handled the trade-in-services pact. Tsai was the only one of the trio in the "Appendectomy Project" -- a play on words sounding like "cutting out the blue (KMT) Legislators" -- who reached the recall vote stage. According to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, voters in an elected official's constituency can initiate a recall motion with the support of 2 percent or more of eligible voters in the electoral district. The second stage of a recall motion requires support from more than 13 percent of the eligible voters of the district to hold a vote. Petitioners did not get enough signatures in the second round to put Wu and Lin up for a recall vote. (By Huang Yu-han, Tseng Ying-yu and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-18 07:10 GMT+08:00