TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following last Saturday’s successful recall of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the city will hold a by-election to fill his post on August 15, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Friday (June 12).
According to existing legislation, the election has to take place within three months of the date the recall results were announced, which was Friday. The new mayor will only serve until Dec. 25, 2022, which is the end of the current term.
The recall of the Kuomintang mayor was successful because 42.14 percent of the city's eligible voters turned out, greatly exceeding 25 percent threshold. An overwhelming 97.4 percent of those voters approved the recall motion, CNA reported.
Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who lost to Han in Nov. 2018, is expected to represent the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) again as it seeks to reconquer the southern harbor city that it ruled for 20 years. He is expected to resign from the Cabinet later this month.
In the meantime, former deputy mayor and veteran city official Yang Ming-jou (楊明州) is expected to serve as interim mayor until after the August 15 election, reports said.
With Han not allowed to run for the position again for four years, the KMT is searching for a new candidate. Leading members of the party such as former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) have declined, and some say the party should be looking for a younger, local candidate to refurbish its tarnished image.
The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), chaired by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), has entrusted its search for a mayoral candidate to a five-member taskforce. However, it has not excluded the possibility of allying with other parties to support an independent contender.