Everything you need to know on Han Kuo-yu recall election

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s recall vote is set to unfold on Saturday, with the advocate group for Han’s removal, “Wecare Kaohsiung,” hoping to rally more than 574,996 votes to make it happen.

To this, Han put forth 15 policy transcripts and urged supporters not to vote. So, what happened and what will happen next? Here’s everything you need to know.

Reason for a Recall vote 

In 2019, the previous head of the department of cultural affairs, Kaohsiung City, Aaron Yin (尹立) and other supporters founded the “Wecare Kaohsiung” group as they believe that Han’s running for president 4 months after being elected Kaohsiung mayor violated principles regarding his political responsibility and honesty.

Han Kuo-yu’s Defense

In response, Han has urged his supporters not to vote or participate in any political events on June 6. Instead, he suggests going out to do some shopping to support local businesses, while also adhering to virus-prevention measures.

In his statement, Han quoted from the “Heart Sutra” and highlighted 15 policy transcripts in an attempt to convince the public of his efforts, including promoting the city government, encouraging business investments, promoting tourism, transforming Kaohsiung, cleaning ditches, leveling roads, and implementing virus-prevention measures to protect citizens’ health, and more.

Current Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Recall Threshold 

In order for the recall result to be valid, votes for the recall must supersede those that don’t, and the votes in favor of the recall must be more than a quarter of the total number of eligible voters in the original election district.

According to data released by the Kaohsiung City Election Commission on May 29, the total number of Kaohsiung voters in this recall is 2,299,981, a quarter of which is 574,996, and if the consent votes do not reach this threshold, the recall is thus rejected.

If Han is Successfully Recalled…

The election results will be announced within seven days, and Han will be relieved of his duties. Thereafter, a by-election will be held within three months. Han, however, would not be eligible to run for mayor for the next 4 years.

If Han Kuo-yu is unsatisfied with this result and decides to take this to court, no by-election will be held until the end of the proceedings in accordance with the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act.

The process will be heard by an election court, with a collegial system, and will be concluded in a second trial. Each trial should be concluded within six months and no retrial is allowed.

If Han wins the case, the recall result is thus invalid, and Han can be reinstated; if Han loses the case, his dismissal is confirmed.

At the end of the proceedings, if there are more than two years left in the current term (before December 25, 2020), another election will be held for the mayor of Kaohsiung.

If there are less than two years left, no by-election will be held and the temporary acting mayor will continue to serve.

If the Recall Vote Doesn’t Pass…

No additional recall proposals can be brought against Han Kuo-yu during his term of office.

Voting Time

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 6.

Must-Bring Items

Remember to bring these to the voting booth: ID card, voting slip and seal.

Virus-Prevention Measures

  • Everyone needs to wear face masks.
  • You need to have your temperature taken and your hands sanitized before entering the voting booth.
  • Those who wish to see the opening of the ballots need to have their names taken.
  • Everyone needs to maintain social distancing when lining up.
  • Those under quarantine are forbidden to enter the voting areas.
  • Those with fever need to have their names and contact information recorded and will need to wear gloves before they head to the special area to vote.