Taiwan Sunflower Movement leader faces recall over gay marriage issue

NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang targeted in legislative recall

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Huang Kuo-chang casting his ballot in the recall vote directed against him.

Huang Kuo-chang casting his ballot in the recall vote directed against him. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Residents in a New Taipei City district were casting their ballot Saturday in a recall vote launched by opponents of same-sex marriage against a prominent leader of the Sunflower Movement.

Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who also serves as the executive chairman of the New Power Party (時代力量), is one of many supporters of the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is making its way through the Legislative Yuan, expecting eventually to make Taiwan the first country in Asia where the practice is legal.

However, Huang was reportedly targeted for the recall because of his highly symbolic value, commentators said. He was one of the high-profile leaders of the Sunflower Movement, which occupied the Legislative Yuan during three weeks in 2014 to protest against the then-government’s ramming through of a controversial trade pact with China.

Saturday’s recall is the first since the threshold for such a vote was lowered through an amendment of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), a measure supported by Huang.

Voting was taking place Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at seven centers across Huang’s legislative election district. His constituency includes the New Taipei City districts of Xizhi, where he cast his ballot, Ruifang, Pingxi, Shuangxi, and the coastal areas of Jinshan, Wanli, and Gongliao, the site of the controversial fourth nuclear plant.