Polls open for recall vote in Taipei, Taichung by-election

Polls have opened for a recall vote to decide the fate of independent Legislator Freddy Lim (???) in two districts in Taipei and for a by-election in Taichung for a legislative seat.

The polls opened at 8 a.m. Sunday, and voters in Wanhua District and part of Zhongzheng District in Taipei, and in five towns in Taichung can cast their ballots until 4 p.m.

The by-election in Taichung's second electoral district covering the towns of Shalu, Longjing, Dadu, Wuri and Wufeng is being held to pick a lawmaker to replace Chen Po-wei (???) of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party after he was ousted in a recall vote on Oct. 23.

In the district with 295,985 eligible voters, Chen lost by about 3 percentage points in a vote where turnout was 51.72 percent, making him the first lawmaker to be recalled in Taiwan.

Five candidates are vying for the seat left vacant by Chen.

The two main contenders are former lawmakers -- Lin Ching-yi (???) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, who held an at-large seat between 2016 and 2020, and Yen Kuan-heng (???) of the main opposition Kuomintang.

Yen was first elected in 2013 to the Legislature in a by-election in the same constituency and won a second term in 2016. He lost to Chen in the 2020 elections by 5,073 votes, or a margin of 2.3 percentage points in a two-horse race.

A total of 235,024 residents in Taipei's fifth electoral district are eligible to vote in the special election to decide whether to recall Lim, who is serving a second term that began in early 2020.

Under the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act, Lim will be recalled if at least 25 percent of eligible voters in his constituency vote in favor of it, and they outnumber those who vote against it. The act was amended in 2016 to make it easier to recall elected officials.

Lim 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.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel