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DPP CALLS FOR SETTLEMENT OF ELECTION DISPUTES BY JUDICIAL MEANS

2004-03-27 19:21:06

    Taipei, March 27 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reiterated its appeal Saturday to settle disputes regarding the March 20 presidential election through judicial channels.

    DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung made the appeal when he commented on a mass protest staged by supporters of the opposition "pan-blue alliance" formed by the Kuomintang (KMT) , People First Party (PFP) and New Party in front of the Presidential Office.

    Chang said that President Chen Shui-bian has agreed to revise the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law to pave the way for a vote recount and to accept experts recommended by the "pan-blue alliance" to join the investigation into the shooting of President Chen and Vice President Annette Lu on the eve of the election. Chang said the moves were made out of goodwill by the president.

    If the opposition camp or both KMT Chairman Lien Chan and PFP Chairman James Soong themselves obtain any evidence of electoral fraud or crimes, they should deliver them to the court, Chang said, claiming that both President Chen and the ruling party are willing to cooperate with the judicial authorities to investigate the alleged cases and to accept the court's ruling.

    The DPP does not want to see the opposition camp resorting to unlawful moves or violence in its protests, which would jeopardize the harmony and social order of the country, Chang noted, suggesting that Lien and Soong should allow the demonstrations to end peacefully.

    Both Chang and Legislator Tsai Huang-lang, DPP legislative caucus whip, called on their party members and supporters to avoid the vicinities of the demonstration site and refrain from provoking the rival camp.

    The "pan-blue alliance" supporters have staged the demonstration since last Saturday shortly after the Central Election Commission announced preliminary results of the election which gave President Chen another four-year term by defeating Lien by a slim margin of 0.228 percent, or fewer than 30,000 votes out of the approximately 13 million ballots cast.

    The "pan blue alliance" supporters described the election as "unfair" and asked for a recount of the votes and demanded that an independent investigation panel be established to look into the March 19 shooting which they believed gave Chen sympathy votes and victory in the hotly contested race.

(By Huang Kwang-chun)

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