Taiwan mayoral by-election to take place in Kaohsiung Saturday

Vote the first of its kind in Taiwanese history, results of vote expected to be announced by 7 p.m.

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —The Kaohsiung mayoral by-election will be held on Saturday (Aug. 15), the first such election in Taiwan after former Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was ousted in a decisive vote in June.

People are warned against campaigning for the candidates after the clock strikes midnight, with violators risking a heavy NT$500,000 (US$16,990) minimum fine, said the Kaohsiung City Election Commission.

According to the port city's electoral body, over 90 percent of such violations occur on social media platforms such as Facebook and LINE. As of 12 a.m. on Saturday, comments made to lobby for support or share one's experience attending campaign rallies for a particular candidate constitute an offense of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act.

The rule applies to all forums, including closed communities, and even screenshots of conversations that have since been deleted can result in penalties.

The by-election will see a competition among three candidates: Kaohsiung City Councilor Li Mei-jhen (李眉蓁) of the Kuomintang (KMT), former Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the DPP, and Kaohsiung City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng (吳益政) of the TPP.

Voters are asked to adhere to disease control measures such as social distancing and wearing masks. The results are expected to be out by 7 p.m., according to the election commission.