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PROSECUTION AUTHORITIES TO ACTIVELY HANDLE ELECTION DISPUTES

2004-03-22 13:55:28

    Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Officials from the State Public Prosecutor General's office will actively handle election disputes and related affairs in order to help clear up any doubts surrounding Saturday's presidential election, the head of the office said Monday.

    State Public Prosecutor General Lu Ren-fa made the remarks while meeting at his office with legislators from the opposition "pan-blue alliance" who earlier asked that authorities from his office and the Supreme Court immediately begin investigations into the election and hold all ballots and related materials to be used as evidence in the lawsuit the alliance filed.

    The opposition legislators told Lu that thay had filed a motion with the Taiwan High Court to demand an annulment of the election results and a recount of the votes.

    The Taiwan High Court ruled Sunday morning that all election ballots in the 25 cities and counties nationwide be sealed until it was decided how to deal with the controversy.

    The court announced that all the election ballots, including blank, valid and annulled ballots, as well as name-lists of voters and electoral workers should be sealed to be used as evidence in the lawsuit.

    The "pan-blue alliance" ticket of Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan and People First Party Chairman James Soong have disputed the election results on the grounds that clouds overshadowing the assassination attempt against President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu on the eve of the election has yet cleared up and that the number of certified invalid ballots was unusually high.

    The Lien-Soong ticket lost the election to Chen and Lu by a razor-thin margin of just under 30,000 votes, or 0.228 percent of the total votes counted.

    Meanwhile, "pan-blue alliance" supporters have continued their sit-in in front of the Presidential Office that began Saturday night.

(By Deborah Kuo)

ENDITEM/Li



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