Taipei, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was ousted by the city’s residents on Saturday, becoming the first municipality leader in Taiwan’s history to be recalled by means of a vote.
Here is what commentators on both sides of the issue, those in the middle and some prominent political figures, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Han himself, had to say about the recall election:
– President Tsai Ing-wen: “More than 900,000 Kaohsiung residents made a collective decision and took Taiwan’s democracy a step forward. The result should be a warning to all politicians that the people can bestow power and can take it back.”
Now that the recall election is over, it is time for reconciliation in the country, she said, promising to support Kaohsiung’s development, regardless of who becomes its next mayor.
-Han Kuo-yu: “It is regrettable that my team had to deal with constant mud-slinging. The criticisms were unfounded. I hope our good friends will judge us fairly.”
He said that since the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was reelected in January, it has mobilized all its resources in an effort to remove him, despite the many accomplishments of his local government team.
-Aaron Yin (尹立), founder of WeCare Kaohsiung, the organization that initiated the recall vote: “Today, the residents of Kaohsiung created history. We initiated the movement, not for ourselves or out of hate for anyone, but because we refused to be constantly conned. We rectified it. This is why the people of Kaohsiung are great.”
-Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳), DPP spokesperson: “The power to recall an elected official is a basic Constitutional right, and the DPP respects the democratic decision of Kaohsiung’s residents.”
-Chiang Chi-chen (江啟臣), Kuomintang chairman: “We are disappointed, and we condemn the ruling party’s use of the administration’s power to manipulate this recall. Such actions will retard Taiwan’s democratic progress and any cooperative efforts between the administration and the opposition to deal with the post-COVID-19 global situation.”
-Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), New Power Party chairman: “The results of the recall vote showed that the people were not pleased with Han’s decision to run for president without first resigning as mayor. Those types of political anomalies should be rectified.”
-Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), Taichung mayor: “We respect the will of the people. Politicians, regardless of their affiliation, should listen to the voice of the people. Taiwan is facing challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, and now we should concentrate on reviving the economy.”
-Chang Li-shan (張麗善), Yunlin County Magistrate: “The DPP administration, with its manipulative populist approach, has many mayors and magistrates confused about what they must do to win the people’s approval. I will adjust my pace and contemplate my next step.”
-Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), Hong Kong democracy activist: “The Taiwanese people chose today to recall a mayor who walked into Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong and who has been cozying up to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The Taiwanese people should cherish the power of their vote, as freedom and democracy are hard earned, said Wong, who was named one of the most influential teens in 2014 by TIME magazine because of his role in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel