A petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) garnered 117,818 signatures in five days, the organizers of the petition said yesterday.
Before bowing in front of cameras for 30 seconds at a news conference in Kaohsiung, the four organizers said they aimed to collect 300,000 signatures within 30 days, before the petition drive ends.
Lead organizer Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮) thanked fellow Kaohsiung residents for their support, and said that he would continue to work with Citizens Mowing Action (公民割草行動), WeCare Kaohsiung, the Taiwan Statebuilding Party and others to recall Han.
Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
“This is quite a monumental result, so we bow to you, Kaohsiung,” Chen said, commenting on the number of signatures.
Since taking office, Han has seriously lacked neutrality in handling city government affairs, and as the city’s election committee is under the city government’s administration, those who sign the petition should be prudent about avoiding mistakes, Chen said.
Use of simplified Chinese characters, abbreviations or mistakes in writing could be grounds for the city government to invalidate the petition, he said.
He called on the city government not to interfere with the petition, so that it could remain fair and transparent, Chen said.
Those involved in the petition have been insulted and threatened by Han’s supporters, but they would continue to demonstrate love and tolerance toward them, he said.
“A recall has nothing to do with party affiliation. Recalls cross party lines,” Chen said.
WeCare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) also urged Han’s supporters to avoid verbal attacks on those working on the petition, saying that they were volunteers and have been working hard.
Petitions are a moderate and rational course of action, and a normal part of the democratic process, he said.
“Han Kuo-yu is like a dark cloud over Kaohsiung, and the city’s residents have had looks of gloom and despair since this cloud arrived,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party News Department deputy director Chang Po-yang (張博洋) said.
If Han had any sense of shame he would resign so that the city’s “honor and glory could be restored,” Chang said.
Petition organizers hoped to set a precedent for others nationwide to follow in the protection of democracy, Citizens Mowing Action said.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
‘TOO RESTRICTIVE’: Ending US sales of weapons that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric’ would hamper Taiwan’s defense against China, two business groups said Taiwan’s weapons procurement decisions are made based on its needs, and are not influenced by individual arms dealers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday after two US business groups questioned a US official’s comment on arms sales to Taiwan. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick told the business groups via video link on Saturday that Washington would adjust the types of weapons sold to Taiwan and end “most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric.’” The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council on Monday
Local COVID-19 cases are expected to continue rising in the upcoming week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported a record-high 85,310 new domestic cases and 41 deaths. Daily case numbers had remained in the 60,000s for the past six days before surging about 30 percent yesterday, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said the number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted on Tuesday also marked a record-high of 112,915, with a