Petition to recall itinerant Taiwanese mayor passes first threshold

'Recall Han Kuo-yu' rally planned for July 14 in Kaohsiung, as organizers work towards goal of forcing Han from office

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Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The petition launched by non-governmental organization We Care Kaohsiung to recall itinerant Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has succeeded in passing the first threshold needed to conduct a city-wide vote.

In less than five days, organizers acquired 30,000 signatures in support of recalling Mayor Han for his alleged dereliction of duty and for using the city’s executive office to launch a presidential campaign.

For the petition to proceed to a public vote, it must be signed by 10 percent of the total electorate, or nearly 230,000 people, within the next two months.

To spread the word and gain momentum, organizers are planning a “Recall Han Kuo-yu” rally in Kaohsiung on July 14. Significantly, July 14 is the day that the Kuomintang (KMT) party presidential primary process is to conclude, with the party set to announce their official nominee the following day.

Liberty Times reports that We Care Kaohsiung has joined forces with several other organizations and political parties, including Citizens Mowing Action and the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, as well as some of the city's Democratic Progressive Party legislators.

Once the requisite number of signatures are secured, a special municipal vote will be held. If 25 percent of the total electorate vote “Yes” on his removal, a new mayoral election will be called.

Petition organizers are calling on Kaohsiung citizens to save their city and put pressure on the mayor, whom they claim has abandoned his commitment to Kaohsiung in pursuit of his own political ambitions. If the recall petition is successful, it will be the first time a mayor has ever been recalled in Taiwan’s history.