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DPP SECRETARY-GENERAL RULES OUT NEW ELECTION

2004-03-25 23:11:14

    Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Unless the Taiwan High Court determines that the just-concluded presidential election is null and void, there is no question of holding a new election, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-general Chang Chun-hsiung said Thursday.

    In a news conference for foreign journalists, Chang said that holding a new election from scratch would cause political disturbance and tarnish the country's image, and is therefore neither a legal nor a practical option, even though the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) , whose candidate lost the election by a slim margin, advocates a new election.

    Describing the election as "fair and square, " Chang said anyone requesting a vote recount should present evidence that irregularities took place in the vote-counting and ask the prosecutors to intervene.

    However, Chang went on, in order to settle the dispute, President Chen Shui-bian -- who won the election -- agreed to a recount following a revision to the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law. The DPP's efforts to push through the resolution at the Legislative Yuan was blocked by the two opposition parties, Chang pointed out.

    As for the gunshot suffered by Chen during a campaign parade on the eve of polling day, Chang said the president would agree to the opposition's request to have the incident probed by an independent investigation panel to see if it was, as the opposition has claimed, a complicated political scheme.

    Actually, as the victim of an assassination attempt, Chang said, the president is more eager than anyone to find out the truth behind the incident.

    A prosecutor-turned DPP lawmaker, Chiu Tai-san disputed the "pan-blue alliance's" demand for a recount through an emergency decree from the president, pointing out that an emergency decree would freeze the people's civil rights and is an irresponsible way to deal with the dispute.

(By Maubo Chang)

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