Focus Taiwan: Initiators of petition to recall Han deliver signatures to CEC

Taipei, Dec. 26 (CNA) The initiators of a petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) submitted approximately 30,000 signatures to the Central Election Commission (CEC) Thursday, setting in motion a three-step process that could potentially lead to a recall vote next year.

According to the law, the first step in the recall process is to raise a proposal containing the signatures of 1 percent of the constituency’s eligible voters. In the case of Kaohsiung’s estimated 2.28 million eligible voters, this works out as 22,800 signatures.

Speaking to the media Thursday, Aaron Yin (尹立), founder of the pro-recall organization WeCare Kaohsiung, said that once their proposal is verified by the CEC, the groups involved will begin the subsequent steps of the recall process.

In the second phase, the initiators will have 60 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the eligible voters in Kaohsiung, or around 230,000 people, Yin said.

The previously collected signatures will not be considered valid in this step of the process.

In the third phase, Yin said, a simple majority will have to vote in favor of a recall, with at least 25 percent of eligible voters participating — roughly 570,000 in the case of Kaohsiung.

Yin has previously estimated that the recall vote could take place in late May or early June.

The recall movement’s success is far from assured, however, as significant legal and political difficulties remain.

Yin highlighted some of them Thursday, noting the complex bureaucratic requirements involved, as well as restrictions on recall campaign groups accepting political contributions or applying for election subsidies from the government.

Han, meanwhile, has dismissed the recall effort as politically motivated, arguing that many attendees of WeCare Kaohsiung’s Dec. 21 anti-Han march were not even residents of the city.

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