Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu attended his last city council meeting on June 9 after being ousted by voters over the weekend. Han will not appeal the results, according to his statement on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the Kuomintang (KMT) will seek to fill the vacancy with “a young, local candidate” soon.

“I will take a temporary break,” Han wrote on his Facebook. “I respect our people’s will and I won’t file any lawsuit.”

If Han had challenged the recall motion legally, there would be no mayoral by-election until the case is settled, which could last up to one year. The Cabinet will have to appoint an interim mayor in the meantime.

Pro-Han groups apply for Ketagalan Boulevard Protest Permit

Despite the successful recall, a pro-Han group said they would fight for justice for Mayor Han and mourn the death of Kaohsiung’s City Council Speaker Hsu Kun-yuan. The group has applied to stage a protest on Ketagalan Boulevard, the main drag leading to the Presidential Residence in Taipei.

Presidential speaker Ernesto Ting Yun-kung said the recall motion was a result of democracy in practice and it should be respected. He said the public is allowed to protest within legal limits but should remain calm and rational.

Who will be the KMT candidate for Kaohsiung’s mayoral by-election?

The KMT hopes to scout for local young talent in Kaohsiung, KMT Culture and Communications Chairperson Wang Yu-min said during a radio interview. The priority is not to win the by-election immediately, she said, but to nurture and build a deep bench.

Wang denied the possibility of nominating candidates like former KMT Chairman Eric Chu and Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), because their household registration is not in Kaohsiung.

As to a potential appeal, Wang said, “We respect Han Kuo-yu’s decision. Since Han understands local conditions in Kaohsiung best, the KMT central party committee will discuss with Han about the by-election candidate.”

After Han’s recall, some groups are taking the opportunity to file recall petitions against other politicians in office as revenge. The New Party Youth Organization, for instance, announced a recall campaign against Kaohsiung legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟), who supported removing Han from the office.

Residents in Fengshan, Kaohsiung have also launched a recall petition against Huang Jie (黃捷), a city councilor who is known for routinely speaking out against Han.

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TNL Editor: Daphne K. Lee, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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