Breaking News: KMT mayor of Taiwan's Kaohsiung loses recall vote
Former Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) also lost the unprecedented vote recalling him as mayor of Kaohsiung City according to results shown by cable stations Saturday (June 6).
A total of 42 percent, or far more than the required minimum 25 percent of eligible voters or 574,996 people, showed up to cast a valid ballot, and the number of votes agreeing with the recall motion exceeded the number of those opposed by 931,914 to 24,875, CNA reported. Never before has such a high elected government official been targeted by a recall vote.
In Nov. 2018, Han received about 890,000 votes, almost the same number as those who voted him out Saturday. The rollercoaster-type changes in his public support followed his failure to turn sometimes grandiose promises into real achievements, reports said. Several of his projects, including a Ferris wheel and a United States-backed amusement park, never materialized.
Following the recall vote, the central government will now have to nominate an interim mayor before new mayoral elections can be held within three months of the proclamation of Saturday’s result. Han will not be allowed to run in any mayoral election in the city for four years.
When the result became clear, Han led his city government team, all dressed in blue jackets, to a news conference to thank his supporters. The mayor, who took office in Dec. 2018, accused his detractors of distorting his team’s image, which he called the best in the country. In his speech, he alleged that relentless rumors and criticism had contributed to his downfall.
While no candidates for the next election have emerged yet, one possibility would be Han’s main opponent in the 2018 vote, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the Democratic Progressive Party, which ruled Kaohsiung for 20 years until Han’s victory. Chen has since been serving as the country’s vice premier.