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Taiwan Sunflower Movement leader survives recall vote over same-sex marriage

Opponents won the most votes, but failed to reach threshold

Sunflower Movement and NPP leader Huang Kuo-chang survived the recall vote against him.

Sunflower Movement and NPP leader Huang Kuo-chang survived the recall vote against him. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – New Power Party Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) will hold on to his seat in the Legislative Yuan because the number of voters who agreed Saturday with the recall brought by a group opposing same-sex marriage was not large enough.

The recall, the first one organized since restrictions on such votes in the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) were amended to be relaxed, was seen as a popularity test both for Huang, a high-profile leader of the 2014 Sunflower Movement, and the legalization of gay marriage, which is working its way slowly through the Legislative Yuan.

A total of 48,693 residents voted to approve the recall, while 21,748 voted against and thus wanted Huang to stay on as their lawmaker, cable station TVBS reported. However, since the recall motion needed at least 63,888 valid votes, or one fourth of the more than 255,500 eligible voters, in favor to pass, the motion was ultimately rejected. Turnout stood at 27.75 percent.

The result means that no new recall campaign against Huang can be launched during the present legislative term, which lasts until early 2020.

His election constituency encompasses 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.

The recall movement, headed by a group called the Stability Power Alliance, was leading in all districts, reports said.

In a reaction, Huang said his reform efforts would not diminish but he would remain subject to reviews from his voters and from the public.