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Petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor reaches 117,000 signatures

Campaign to recall Kaohsiung Mayor receives over 117,000 endorsements within 5 days

Han Kuo-yu. (Wecare高雄 Facebook photo)

Han Kuo-yu. (Wecare高雄 Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A campaign to recall Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has received over 110,000 signatures within four days.

From Wednesday (Jan. 29) to Sunday (Feb. 2), a petition calling for the recall of Han received 117,818 endorsements, according to the WeCare高雄 Facebook page. At a press conference on Monday (Feb. 3) in Kaohsiung, the petition's lead organizer Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), Wecare高雄 founder Aaron Yin (尹立), Citizens Mowing Action (公民割草行動) spokesperson Dr. Lee (李), and Taiwan Statebuilding Party News Department deputy director Chang Po-yang (張博洋) bowed 90 degrees to thank petition signers.

Chen said that despite fears over the Wuhan virus, the 117,818 signatures collected over the past five days far exceeded original estimates, so he offered a bow to all citizens of Kaohsiung. He then focused on three key points regarding the campaign and the Kaohsiung City Government's involvement in processing the signatures.

First, he claimed that the city's election committee had not properly exhibited neutrality in processing the endorsements as it is under the control of the city government's administration, reported ETtoday. He warned supporters that typos, simplified characters, and abbreviations could cause the committee to invalidate the petition and called on the city government to withdraw from the operation of the election committee.

Petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor reaches 117,000 signatures
Campaign leaders celebrate latest milestone. (Wecare高雄 Facebook photo)

His second point was that many volunteers had been threatened by Han fans while setting up booths to collect signatures, but that they responded with "love and tolerance." He emphasized that the recall is an independent movement that transcends party lines.

Third, he pledged that the campaign would achieve its goals of garnering 100,000 more signatures in the next two rounds of signature gathering. He promised that the combined groups would "definitely earn the trust of the people," according to the report.

For the petition to proceed to a public vote, it must be signed by 10 percent of the total electorate, or 228,000 signatures. In the recall election, at least 25 percent of eligible voters will have to cast a ballot, with more in favor of the recall than against, in order for the mayor to be ousted.

Reports have suggested that the recall could take place next April or May, months after the January 11 presidential election in which Han was defeated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).