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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-314590 Taiwan / Politics
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=03/30/04

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=TAIWAN POLITICS (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-314590

BYLINE=HEDA BAYRON

DATELINE=HONG KONG

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: Taiwan is moving closer toward resolving its bitter post-election dispute as the island's top court starts deliberating on the opposition's petition challenging President Chen Shui-bian's narrow re-election. V-O-A's Heda Bayron reports from Hong Kong.

TEXT: In a letter to the High Court, President Chen Shui-bian Tuesday agreed to a recount demanded by the opposition Koumintang, or K-M-T. Three judges now will decide when and how a recount of the March 20th presidential election results will be held.

The K-M-T claims that voting irregularities occurred in the March 20th election. It also claims that the election-eve shooting of the president affected the outcome of the ballot, suggesting it may have been staged.

President Chen won by a narrow margin of 30-thousand votes. More than 300-thousand ballots were deemed invalid, and the opposition wants them examined.

Taiwan has been thrown into political turmoil since election day, with thousands of opposition supporters protesting in the capital, Taipei.

Despite the K-M-T's court petition for a recount, the island's election commission Tuesday certified Mr. Chen as the winner.

/// CHEN ACT IN MANDARIN, FADE UNDER ///

Holding his certificate, President Chen says it is heavier than it appears because it is a mandate from the island's 23 million people.

Also Tuesday, U-S forensic experts met with President Chen to investigate the assassination attempt, in which he was lightly wounded. The head of the team, Cyril Wecht, told reporters it is unlikely the shooting was faked.

/// WECHT ACT ///

It was a fresh, clean wound. The blood was moist, so it is not anything that had been around for a long time.

/// END ACT ///

Vice President Annette Lu also was slightly wounded in the attack.

Police have not arrested any suspects in the shooting. (Signed)

NEB/HK/HB/KPD



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