Taipei Times: Han recall petition drive nears own signature goal

A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has garnered 270,639 signatures since it began on Jan. 29, bolstering confidence that a goal of 300,000 would be met this weekend before the documents are submitted to the Kaohsiung Election Commission, petition organizers said yesterday.

The New Power Party alone submitted more than 10,000 signatures on Thursday, said petition organizing group WeCare Kaohsiung, which, along with the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, this week continued the signature drive at major intersections in the city.

The groups aim to initiate a recall election at the end of June to have Han of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) step down as mayor in early July.

Although the threshold is about 225,000 signatures, the campaign said it hopes to collect 300,000 to offset invalid forms.

Polls have shown that more than 53 percent of Kaohsiung residents agree that Han should be recalled, which is unchanged from last month, meaning that public opinion still does not favor Han, although “he has been pretending to be nice,” WeCare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) said.

The Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) stipulates that a recall election requires petition signatures from at least 10 percent of the electorate during the second-stage petition, and the recall would be valid if yes votes in a recall election gain a majority, with at least 25 percent participating (about 580,000).

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