Voting begins in Kaohsiung mayoral by-election

08/15/2020 08:16 AM
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Kaohsiung, Aug. 15 (CNA) Voters headed to polling stations in Kaohsiung on Saturday morning to cast their ballots for a new mayor after Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was ousted in a recall vote in June.

There are a total of 2.3 million eligible voters in the by-election, and a total of 1,823 polling stations are open around the largest port city in southern Taiwan, according to data from the Kaohsiung City Election Commission.

The three main candidates are former Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Li Mei-jhen (李眉蓁) of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and Wu Yi-jheng (吳益政) of the Taiwan People's Party.

Whoever is elected will serve the remainder of Han's term in office, which is 28 months, the Central Election Commission has said.

Although the results of the election will be announced the same day, with voting ending at 4 p.m., the Central Election Commission will not formally declare the winner until Aug. 21.

According to city election commission data, of the city's 38 administrative districts, Fengshan District has the most eligible voters with 294,369 and Maolin District the fewest with 1,524.

The DPP's Chen suffered a surprise defeat to Han in the November 2018 Kaohsiung mayoral election, polling 9 percent fewer votes. As a result, the DPP lost control of the city for the first time in 20 years.

However, Han chose to run in the presidential race less than a year after being elected mayor, prompting the initiation of a recall campaign arguing that his presidential bid was a betrayal of his promises in the mayoral campaign.

The Central Election Commission certified the results of the June 6 recall vote that saw a majority of voters in favor of removing Han from office and scheduled a by-election on Aug. 15 to elect a new mayor to serve out the rest of his term, which ends in December 2022. (Click here for CNA's coverage of the election day)

(By Elizabeth Hsu)

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