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MILITARY, SECURITY UNITS HEIGHTEN ALERT AHEAD OF ELECTION

2004-02-23 20:59:18

    Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Both the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the National Security Bureau (NSB) said Monday they have heightened their levels of alert in order to ensure that the March 20 presidential election and the nation's first-ever referendum will be held smoothly.

    The MND and the NSB made the remarks in separate reports delivered at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Legal Affairs Committee.

    The MND said in its report that it has designated election day as a period for special combat preparedness, while the NSB said it has joined forces with other intelligence agencies to form a special task force to collect foreign comments on the election and referendum, monitor interference by mainland China with electoral affairs and collect information about any event that might affect the security of the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

    In the run-up to the election, the MND said, military units will keep close watch on the mainland's military activities, particularly movements of its missile and submarine forces.

    According to the MND report, the military has drawn up various response options and has conducted training exercises to cope with possible "abnormal" mainland military actions.

    The NSB said it has also prepared a package of crisis management programs to deal with any emergencies, including electoral affairs disputes, massive protests, terrorist attacks, threats to candidates' personal safety, and mainland saber-rattling.

(By Sofia Wu)

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