A total of 28,560 signatures were verified as valid, higher than the required minimum of 22,814 for the petition, the commission said.
Under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, the first step in a three-step recall process is to raise a proposal containing the signatures of 1 percent of the constituency’s eligible voters.
In the second phase, the initiators of the petition to recall Han, which was submitted one year after his inauguration on Dec. 25, 2018 as required by law, will have 60 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the eligible voters in Kaohsiung, or around 230,000 people, according to the CEC.
The previously collected signatures will not be considered valid in this step of the process, according to the Act.
In the third phase, 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, the CEC said.
In response, Han said through the Kaohsiung City Information Bureau that he “respects the decision of the people” in the recall case. He added that his priority currently is to spare no efforts in managing city affairs.
The group that launched the recall campaign wants to punish Han for declaring his candidacy in the presidential race just three months after he began serving as mayor of Taiwan’s third largest city.
WeCare has accused Han of abandoning Kaohsiung.
Han had suggested he was urged to run by officials in his party Kuomintang.