Date set for recall vote of lawmaker Freddy Lim

12/03/2021 09:12 PM
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Legislator Freddy Lim holds a press conference in response to the recall vote against him Friday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2021
Legislator Freddy Lim holds a press conference in response to the recall vote against him Friday. CNA photo Dec. 3, 2021

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) A special election will be held on Jan. 9, 2022 for voters to decide whether to recall independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐), the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced Friday.

The date was set after the CEC reviewed the petition to recall the lawmaker initiated by Cheng Ta-ping (鄭大平), who collected 38,286 signatures, 27,362 of which have been verified.

The campaigners needed at least 24,475 signatures, or 10 percent of the eligible voters in Lim's fifth electoral district in Taipei covering Wanhua and part of Zhongzheng, to force a recall vote.

The push for a recall came following a domestic COVID-19 outbreak that began in May, with Wanhua being one of the epicenters.

Lim was criticized for siding with the central government rather than standing up for his constituents when a government official seemingly tried to absolve the central health authorities of responsibility for the outbreak by saying it originated in Wanhua.

He also took heat when he appeared at a Huannan Market press event in early June with central government officials after an outbreak occurred there and was accused of only visiting the market at election time.

In response to Friday's announcement, Lim said he was confident he would hold his seat, and the main focus for him and his team was to revitalize Wanhua and Zhongzheng, where Taipei's development began.

In addition to holding talks with residents in his constituency ahead of the recall vote, he said he will continue to campaign against the four referendum initiatives to be decided on Dec. 18.

Under the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act, Lim will be recalled if at least 25 percent of eligible voters in his district vote in favor of it, and they outnumber those who vote against it.

The CEC said it will announce the number of voters eligible for the recall election by Jan. 5, after it compiles a list of voters in late December.

Lim, 45, was re-elected with 81,853 votes in 2020 to a second legislative term as an independent, after taking the seat for the opposition New Power Party with 82,650 votes in 2016. His margins of victory were 3 and 4 percentage points, respectively.

Before becoming a politician, he gained international fame as the lead vocalist of the heavy-metal band Chthonic and was known as an activist for Taiwan independence.

(By Lai Yu-chen, Wang Yang-yu and Kay Liu)

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