Analysis | Many candidates called on to join Kaohsiung by-election

There are 4 possible candidates for the upcoming by-election in Kaohsiung so far. (NOWnews file photos)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Following the successful recall of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Saturday, many public figures have been called across party lines to join the Kaohsiung Mayoral by-election slated for September. 

Former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Legislator Wu I-ding (吳怡) from the opposition Kuomintang, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to name just a few, have been invited so far to join the race.

This will not be an easy mission though for the main opposition party. Many KMT heavyweights even consider the 3-month deadline to hold the by-election another major hurdle to overcome.

Legislator Wu reportedly declined to put her hat in the ring while Eric Chu might worry that an election fiasco could damage his political career.

Taipei City Council Member Yu Shu-hui (游淑慧) said to Facebook on Tuesday that both candidates won’t benefit the KMT party anyway.

According to Yu, the KMT should focus on re-establishing their base in Kaohsiung and “earning back the trust of its citizens” instead of “wasting time on transferring their household registration” to oust each other in the by-election.

Calls for DPP candidates have also been high. Taiwanese tennis ace Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) recently took to Facebook to call on former National Security Council official Enoch Wu (吳怡農) to stand in as acting mayor of Kaohsiung, saying that if he took the position, she would gladly consider moving back home.

Hsieh jokingly commented that she would gladly move back to Kaohsiung if Wu were to be acting Kaohsiung Mayor. (Facebook/Hsieh Shu-wei)

The half-joking comment even elicited a response from Wu himself, who deftly swerved the topic by asking her to join a tennis game. 

Wu deftly swerved the topic by asking her to join a tennis game. (Facebook/Hsieh She-wei)

According to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), a by-election to elect a new Kaohsiung mayor will have to take place within 3 months, while an acting mayor will be appointed following the Central Elections Commissions’ (中央選舉委員會) declaration of the recall results.