S. Taiwan mayor's video appeal faces criticism

DPP city councilors in Kaohsiung blast Han Kuo-yu for discouraging supporters from voting in recall election

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Mayor Han Kuo-yu faces a recall vote on June 6.

Mayor Han Kuo-yu faces a recall vote on June 6. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kaohsiung Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) City Councilors on Monday (May 18) criticized Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who appealed to the public not to vote on June 6 in a video, and gifted him with a replica of Thanos’ “Infinity Gauntlet” from Marvel’s Avengers franchise.

Han attended an inquiry meeting on Monday regarding his administration’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) policies. During the meeting, DPP councilors criticized him for his incompetent governance and tarnishing Taiwan’s democracy with his plea, according to CNA.

DPP City Councilor Lin Chi-hung (林智鴻) pointed out that Han should listen to the public if the recall vote was successful. Lin said that publicly asking citizens not to vote not only constitutes electoral fraud but is also a surreptitious tactic and the worst display of democracy.

He disparaged Han for protecting his self-interests and causing public fear by insinuating that Kaohsiung residents could lose other rights and interests by voting for a recall. Lin then appealed to the public to let Kaohsiung's politics and economy thrive by defeating this “dark force” with love.

DPP councilors also criticized Han’s previous proposals including drilling for oil on Taiping island (Itu Aba, 太平島) and trying to get Disney to open a theme park in Kaohsiung.

DPP City Councilor Chen Chi-chung (陳致中) continued the barrage of criticisms, stating that urging citizens not to vote is anti-democratic and violates people’s right to a recall which is protected by the nation’s constitution. He accused Han of standing against democracy.

Chen expressed his dissatisfaction, claiming that Mayor Han turned Kaohsiung into a “Gestapo-run city” under martial law. He encouraged Han not to intimidate city residents with fear and to reflect on his conscience.

Chen called Han’s interference just as destructive as Avengers villain Thanos’ agenda, presenting him with a toy replica of the “Infinity Gauntlet.” However, Han refused the present.