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Tsai says referendums must not be political weapons ahead of Taipei recall vote

President Tsai turns up at pro-Lim rally outside Longshan Temple

Tsai stands alongside Freddy Lim and other leaders at the rally in Wanhua. 

Tsai stands alongside Freddy Lim and other leaders at the rally in Wanhua.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said recall referendums must not be used as political weapons ahead of the recall vote on independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐).

Voters in Taipei’s fifth electoral district, which covers Zhongzheng and Wanhua districts, are going to the ballot box on Sunday (Jan. 9) to decide whether Lim should keep his position or not.

Tsai stood alongside Lim and addressed a crowd of roughly 3,000 people gathered outside the historic Longshan Temple in Wanhua district on Saturday evening (Jan. 8), according to a CNA report. Tsai expressed hope the people would vote against the proposal to recall Lim and resist malicious political machinations.

Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Meihua (王美花), and several Democratic Progressive Party legislators also made an appearance at the event.

Tsai said illegitimate recalls distract Taiwanese society and weaken its resolve. The president stressed that Taiwan needs unity and stability at this time so it can face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic and energy transition, climate change, and external threats to its security.

Tsai praised Lim as a spokesperson for Taiwan’s youth who has lifted the country’s profile on the international stage and as a committed representative who works tirelessly for his constituents. She said she could not think of one reason why he ought to be recalled.

Tsai said recall referendums are a right of Taiwanese voters but that some groups seek to exploit the low threshold needed to stage a referendum and turn them into political weapons. She pointed out that Lim had been elected with a majority of votes, making him the legitimate representative of Taipei’s fifth electoral district.

A number of recall campaigns have taken place in recent years after regulatory adjustments made it easier to remove elected officials from their posts. If at least 25% of eligible voters vote in favor of removing Lim, and those in favor of removal outnumber those opposed, he will lose his seat.

Updated : 2022-05-20 02:17 GMT+08:00