PRESIDENT TO DELIVER ON PROMISE OF FULL BALLOT RECOUNT
Taipei, March 29 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian will deliver on his promise to a full recount of the votes cast in the March 20 presidential election, Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Chiou I-jen said Monday.
Chiou made the remarks when he met with secretary-generals from the opposition "pan-blue alliance" of the Kuomintang and People First Party to arrange for a meeting between Chen, KMT Chairman Lien Chan and PFP Chairman James Soong.
KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng said that the "pan-blue alliance" would file a new lawsuit seeking to nullify the election Monday and he expressed the hope that Chen will deliver on his promise to write a letter of agreement to allow for a full recount of the ballots.
According to Chiou, "there is no problem about a judicial recount of the ballots."
The alliance filed a similar lawsuit with the Taiwan High Court right after the March 20 presidential election, but the court rejected it, as such suits can only be filed after an official proclamation by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the election victors, which did not happen until last Friday.
Chen responded Saturday to calls that day by participants in a mass protest rally sponsored by the "pan-blue alliance" that he would submit a written agreement on the issue to the court to allow an immediate recount.
Chen won the election by a razor-thin margin of 29,518 votes out of a total of 13 million votes cast, but the "pan-blue alliance" has claimed that the election was "unfair." Lien has also called for an independent investigation into the shooting of Chen and his running-mate -- Vice President Annette Lu -- the day before the election, which he believes played a role in tilting the bitterly contested election in Chen's favor.
(By Lilian Wu)
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