Motion to recall controversial lawmaker passes 1st stage

Taipei-A motion to recall Chen Po-wei (???), a legislator of the pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party, has met the legal threshold of 2,912 signatures to proceed to the second stage, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Friday.

A total of 3,744 valid signatures were received, the CEC said, but the petitioners need to collect at least 29,113 signatures within the next 60 days for a recall vote to be staged.

Under Taiwanese law, the first stage of any recall of a legislator requires the signatures of 1 percent of the eligible voters in the lawmaker's constituency, but the bar is raised to 10 percent of the voters in the second stage before any recall vote can be held.

There are 291,122 eligible voters in Chen's constituency, Taichung's 2nd District.

In response to the progress, petitioners led by Yang Wen-yuan (???), who voted for Chen in January 2020 but has since regretted it, said meeting the first threshold was a big step for the group, but they stressed that the real challenge lies in the second stage.

Still, they estimated they could collect as many as 40,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old legislator known for his outspokenness and often controversial comments, responded that he will do his best to meet people's expectations in him, but added he "could not meet the expectations of those who have no faith in me."

For a recall vote to pass, at least 25 percent of eligible voters -- or 72,781 in Chen's case -- must vote in favor of it, and they must outnumber those who vote against it.

Chen gained national publicity after becoming the first-ever candidate of this party to win a seat in the Legislature in 2020, narrowly defeating then-incumbent Yen Kuan-heng (???) of the Kuomintang, the scion of a local political dynasty.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel