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Han returns to work as Kaohsiung mayor

Former KMT presidential candidate to face possible recall after election loss

Han Kuo-yu returns to Kaohsiung as mayor. 

Han Kuo-yu returns to Kaohsiung as mayor.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has returned to his office at the Kaohsiung City Government Monday morning (Jan. 13) after a devastating loss in Saturday's (Jan. 11) election.

Losing to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) by approximately 2.67 million votes, Han had only one day to rest before resuming his post as the Kaohsiung City mayor. At a press conference on Monday, Han expressed gratitude to his supporters and said that the current focus of the city government will be ensuring a delightful Lunar New Year holiday for all of its citizens.

Han also pointed out that the election results have been determined and urged his supporters to remain calm and rational. He said that his loss reflected the voice of the Taiwanese people and that he will respect the country's democratic system, emphasizing that "solidarity" is vital to ensuring Taiwan continues to operate normally.

When asked about his stance on cross-strait relations, Han said that he is not in the position to answer the question, but he encouraged the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to continue exploring options that can satisfy Taiwanese citizens. He proceeded to apologize to Kaohsiung residents for taking leave of office for the last three months but said that the city government had not slacked off in its duties.

Since his decision to leave his post to prepare for the presidential election, Kaohsiung citizens have voiced their dissatisfaction through marches and a plan to recall Han as mayor. Contrary to the public expectations that the recall campaign would lose steam after Saturday's election, its organizers, including petition initiator Aaron Yin (尹立), said that the recall process will continue, reported CNA.

Yin said that Han's loss in the presidential election has already shown people's distrust in him as a politician. He added that whether or not the recall would be successful depends solely on Han's performance upon his return.