Five pairs of candidates drew lots yesterday at the Central Election Commission (CEC) to determine the order their names will appear on the ballots for the March 18 presidential election -- the last formal procedure before the official campaign period begins on Feb. 19.
All the presidential and vice-presidential candidates -- except the KMT's Lien Chan (
The coveted number 1 position was drawn by independent candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his running mate Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄), who were also first to pick.
Soong immediately shouted his lucky slogan, "Taiwan is the first and we will lead in the forefront" (
DPP candidate Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and running mate Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) were the second pair to draw and they pulled "5." "Five means that in the fifth month of the year [May] we will be the new presidential team," Chen said.
The third pair to draw was the KMT's Lien-Siew ticket, but only vice presidential hopeful Vincent Siew (
"President Lee Teng-hui (
New Party candidate Li Ao (
"According to the official history of the ROC, there were five other presidents, starting with Yuan Shih-kai (
Feng criticized Lien's absence, saying he was showing his disrespect for the CEC and setting a bad example for democracy.
But Lien's spokesman dismissed Feng's criticism, saying the vice-president was with grassroot supporters in Taoyuan County.
There was no surprise about the number the last pair to draw received. Independent candidate Hsu Hsin-liang (
Following the draw the candidates made speeches to their supporters, declaring the start of their campaigns even though the official campaign period doesn't begin until 30 days before the election -- this Saturday.
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