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Taiwan postpones recall vote for legislator because of COVID

Taiwan Statebuilding Party's Chen Po-wei will face voters in Taichung on Oct. 23

Taiwan Statebuilding Party lawmaker Chen Po-wei to face recall on Oct. 23. 

Taiwan Statebuilding Party lawmaker Chen Po-wei to face recall on Oct. 23.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The recall vote targeting the only legislator from the Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP) has been postponed from Aug. 28 to Oct. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Friday (July 16).

Earlier this month, the CEC decided to delay four nationwide referendums originally scheduled for Aug. 28 until Dec. 18, but the August date for Taichung's recall vote remained unchanged. The timing provoked questions about why COVID might affect referendums but not a recall.

Following discussions, the CEC decided that the vote to decide the fate of lawmaker Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) should be postponed but still be held on a different date than the plebiscites because the issues at stake are different, CNA reported.

COVID was deemed likely to hamper the process to prepare for the vote, while the voting itself would have seen too many outsiders entering schools to cast their ballot, the CEC argued.

Reacting to the latest development, Chen said he would campaign on his record at the Legislative Yuan. If at least 25% of the 291,122 eligible voters in his district support the recall and more citizens later cast a ballot in favor of it than against, he will lose his seat, and the TSP will disappear from the 113-seat legislature.