TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A petition to recall independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) has enough signatures to move to the second stage of the process, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced on Tuesday (Aug. 10).
The CEC said organizers of the petition now have 60 days to gather enough signatures to satisfy the requirements of the second stage, according to a CNA report.
According to Taiwan’s laws, the first stage of a petition to recall a legislator requires signatures from at least 1% of eligible voters in that legislator's constituency, and the bar is raised to 10% in the second stage before a recall election can be held.
There are 244,748 eligible voters in Lim's constituency, Taipei's 5th District, which means a minimum of 24,474 signatures is needed for the next round.
Organizers of the petition include Wanhua resident Cheng Ta-ping (鄭大平), independent Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平), and former opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party spokesperson Eric Huang (黃裕鈞). They believe Lim must be removed because of a dereliction of his duties to his constituents in Wanhua District, which saw an outbreak of domestic COVID-19 cases stemming from cluster infections at hostess teahouses in May.
Lim was in 2020 elected as an independent for his second term after serving his first as a New Power Party lawmaker. Before entering politics, Lim was known as a Taiwanese independence activist and frontman of heavy-metal band Chthonic.
Responding to the CEC's announcement, Lim said he respects the decision and will continue to focus on combating the spread of COVID and boosting local businesses.
Taiwan has seen several high-profile recall elections in recent years, the most prominent being against former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the KMT, Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu (王浩宇) of the Democratic Progressive Party, and independent Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie (黃捷).