Kaohsiung citizens have voted overwhelmingly in favour of ousting pro-Beijing Mayor Han Kuo-yu from office, dealing another blow to Kuomintang (KMT) who is under pressure over its stance over ties with Beijing.
The final result of the recall vote showed 939,090 voters among the more than two million eligible residents voted in favour of the recall motion, while 25,051 voted against.
Just under 600,000 votes was enough to pass the recall motion, but the final tally showed the voters made sure that Han becomes the first elected politician to be ousted in a recall vote in Taiwan.
The 62-year-old won a surprise victory in 2018 in what had long been a stronghold of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
His decision to take a leave of absence to seek the presidency just months after taking office drew heavy criticism, and a petition campaign was launched by a group called Wecare Kaohsiung last December to seek his recall.
In the petition letter released by the Central Election Commission in May, Wecare Kaohsiung also stated that Han’s approval rate is among the lowest in the country, and that what it described as his "racist, sexist" remarks have harmed the city’s reputation.
During a concession speech, Han thanked his supporters but accused the pro-independence DPP of smearing him.
With him being ousted, the cabinet will have to appoint an acting mayor before a new mayor is elected within three months.
After DPP leader Tsai Ing-wen swept back into the office for a second time, KMT has been under pressure to re-examine its policies of advocating closer ties with Beijing.
KMT chairman Johnny Chiang said they accept Kaohsiung voters' verdict and said the party acknowledges it failed to respond well to the people's expectations.
The party under Chiang is now trying to rethink its unpopular policy of seeking closer ties with Beijing.
Last updated: 2020-06-06 HKT 19:35