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Home The News News Project ‘Recall HQ’ launched in Neihu

Project ‘Recall HQ’ launched in Neihu

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Supporters of the Appendectomy Project, which is campaigning to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai, cheer at the opening of their campaign office in Taipei’s Neihu District yesterday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Appendectomy Project’s campaign to oust Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) reached a new milestone yesterday, with the inauguration of the nation’s first “Recall Headquarters,” launched in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖).

To recall Tsai in the upcoming referendum, which is to take place on Feb. 14, more than half the ballots cast must be in favor of the motion.

A 50 percent turnout is also required for the referendum to be declared as valid.

Instead of performing a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the organizers sliced apart a pig’s large intestine with a scalpel — an allusion to the name of the campaign, which was chosen because the Mandarin term for “blue-camp legislator” (藍委) is pronounced in the same way as “appendix” (闌尾).

The event took on a jubilant tone, as guest speakers jeered at what they said were “ridiculous” regulations that bar all campaign activities for recall referendums.

Although legislators recently launched a motion to revise the Election and Recall Act (公務人員選舉罷免法), which in its current form renders all promotional activities for recall referendums illegal, the amendment is not expected to be ratified before the upcoming referendum — meaning that organizers of the campaign could be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million (between US$3,131 and US$31,312).

Legal expert Huang Yueh-hung (黃越宏) jokingly said the project should remind the public that campaigning for the referendum is illegal by using campaign trucks and fliers.

Campaign organizer Tseng Kuang-chih (曾光志) said that like traditional campaign headquarters that elaborate on a candidate’s strengths, the project’s “Recall Headquarters” would serve a similar function, except it would work toward showing how Tsai failed the public.

He added that the project’s priority after the referendum would be to continue to promote recall regulation reform, as the current threshold “seriously infringes on people’s rights to direct participation in public affairs.”

The campaign received the endorsement of 58,989 residents for its petition for a recall referendum in Tsai’s constituency — Taipei’s Neihu (內湖) and Nangang (南港) districts — paving the way for the first recall vote in the nation since 1994.

The required turnout for a recall was raised from one-third to 50 percent before the 1994 referendum, which ended in failure because of low turnout.

Source: Taipei Times - 2015/01/12

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