Taiwan: Populist mayor of Kaohsiung removed after heavy defeat in recall election

WION Web Team Taipei, Taiwan Jun 06, 2020, 09.21 PM(IST)

Han Kuo-yu Photograph:( AFP )

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Han, 62, conceded defeat after more than 900,000 eligible voters backed his removal for being “unfit” for office

Han Kuo-yu, the opposition candidate in this year’s Taiwanese presidential election, has been removed as mayor of the city of Kaohsiung following an unprecedented recall vote on Saturday.

Han, 62, conceded defeat after more than 900,000 eligible voters backed his removal for being “unfit” for office

He was the first Taiwanese official ever to be removed in this way, a result that will have a ripple effect on future elections.

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It was also a reflection of the growing resentment on the island towards mainland China after Beijing announced plans for a national security law in Hong Kong last month, analysts said.

Expressing his deep regret and describing the recall motion as “unfair,” Han told his supporters outside the city government building that he had faced mounting criticism and mudslinging from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party ever since he took office late in 2018.

“[The] government had mobilised all resources, including buying 90 per cent of the media time to attack me instead of focusing its efforts on administering the country,” Han said.

He thanked the 890,000 or so Kaohsiung residents who voted for him as mayor in November 2018 and offered his blessings and hopes for a better future to the city and the public.