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2004-03-26 15:35:51

    Taipei, March 26 (CNA) The Central Election Commission (CEC) is expected to formally announce the winner of the March 2004 presidential election later Friday after it convenes a members meeting to finish reviewing the election's procedures and related affairs, according to CEC officials.

    Incumbent President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu won re-election by beating the opposition "pan-blue alliance" ticket of Kuomintang Chairman Lien and People First Party Chairman James Soong by a razor-thin margin of 29,518 votes, or 0.2 percent of all ballots counted.

    In accordance with the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law, the CEC should make a formal publication of the winner seven days after a presidential election, CEC Chairman Huang Shih-cheng said.

    Huang said the CEC is expected to make the formal announcement later in the day, despite the fact that Lien and Soong have disputed the election results and have demanded a vote recount.

    A lawyer for the Lien-Soong ticket said a day earlier that the opposition "pan-blue alliance" might file another lawsuit with the Taiwan High Court seeking an annulment of the March 20 election after the Central Election Commission (CEC) formally announces the election winner.

    The Taiwan High Court on Thursday rejected an earlier lawsuit filed by Lien Chan seeking to invalidate the election in the wake of the announcement of Saturday's election results.

    Meanwhile, "pan-blue alliance" legislators have been seeking an amendment to the President and Vice President Election and Recall Law stipulating that the CEC not formally publish a declaration of the winner of a controversial election.

    If the amendment clears the Legislature, the High Court will have no legal basis to reject the annulment lawsuit again, and against this backdrop, the "pan-blue alliance" will file an interlocutory appeal to the court, lawyer Huang Shan-shan said.

    She said that if the amendment fails to be passed by the Legislature, the CEC will announce the presidential election winner as scheduled, adding that the "pan-blue alliance" will file another lawsuit after such an announcement is made.

(By Deborah Kuo)


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