Incumbent President Chen Shui-bian (
But the nation's first-ever referendum failed to get the number of voters necessary to make the result valid. Only 45.17 percent of eligible voters took part. The Referendum Law (
Voting, which took place from 8am to 4pm was peaceful with no major incidents reported, and only a few isolated cases of the electoral laws being broken.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
Some 13,251,719 people voted in the presidential election, a turnout of 80.28 percent of the 16,507,179 eligible voters.
The DPP candidates won 6,471,970 votes, or 50.11 percent of the total cast, while Lien and Soong got 6,442,452 or 49.89 percent. Invalid votes totaled 337,297, representing 2.5 percent of the those cast.
Speaking before an angry crowd in front of the pan-blue camp's election campaign headquarters in Taipei, Lien refused to concede defeat and said the alliance would file a lawsuit against the result announced by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), claiming the election was invalid and demanding the result should be annulled.
"Such a thin margin is the result of the uncertainties left by yesterday's gunshots the truth of which has yet to be clarified," Lien said.
"It was an unfair election," said Lien angrily. "Therefore, we will file a lawsuit against the election result. We demand the CEC seal all ballot boxes nationwide immediately and wait for the authorities to recount the ballots."
"Prepare to annul the election," he told the frenzied crowd.
Chen and Lu were shot while greeting supporters on a jeep in Tainan City on Friday. The police are looking for a 170 cm-tall man aged about 40 whom they suspect fired the shots.
Chen suffered an 11cm-long and 2cm-wide wound on his belly and had 14 stitches, while Lu was shot in her right knee.
The National Police Administration has offered a NT$10 million award for information that leads to breaking the case. The Lien-Soong campaign headquarters has offered another NT$10 million, while the Tainan City Government has offered NT$3 million.
CEC Chairman George Huang (
"I hereby announce that Mr. Chen Shui-bian and Ms. Annette Lu have won the election," Huang said.
When asked if the CEC would overturn the result since Lien had vowed a lawsuit against it, Huang said: "They [the pan-blues] have to follow the regulations as laid down by the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law" (
According to this law, the pan-blue camp has to file its lawsuit with the Administrative Supreme Court (
In his victory speech, Chen told tens of thousands of supporters gathered in front of the DPP campaign headquarters in Taipei that it was not a personal or party victory but a victory for all Taiwan's 23 million people.
"We will stick to our belief in uniting ethnic groups, believing in Taiwan, and insisting on continuous reform," Chen said.
"We also hope Beijing will look at the presidential election result and the referendum turnout rationally and thereby accept the Taiwanese people's choice in order to create peace and stability across the Strait," Chen said.
The CEC also organized a referendum simultaneously with the presidential election in the same polling stations.
In the referendum, voters were asked to vote yes or no on two questions:
First: The Taiwan people demand that the cross-strait issue be resolved through peaceful means. Should mainland China refuse to dismantle the missiles targeting Taiwan and to openly renounce the use of force against us, do you agree that the government should purchase more advanced anti-missile weapons to strengthen Taiwan's self-defense capabilities?
Second: Do you agree that our government should undertake negotiations with mainland China on the basis of a "peace and stability" framework for cross-strait interactions in order to build consensus and for the welfare of the peoples of both sides?
On the first question, 7,452,340 people picked up the ballots, representing 45.17 percent of the eligible, with 359,711 invalid ballots.
Among the valid ballots, 6,511,216 people voted yes, while 581,413 voted no.
On the second question, 7,444,148 ballots were cast, representing 45.12 percent of eligible voters, with 578,574 invalid.
Of the valid ballots, 6,319,663 voted yes, and 545,911 no.
Walking slowly into a polling station in Taipei with dozens of armed guards surrounding him yesterday, Chen, along with his wife Wu Shu-chen (
On the pan-blue side, which had an official policy of not voting in the referendum, Lien did not pick up the referendum ballot papers.
"The target of the bullets were not specific persons, but democracy," Lien said, "but I believe the Taiwan people won't let the incident, whose real cause has yet to be found out, influence the election."
Soong did not pick up the referendum ballots, either, in yesterday's polling while Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
As of press time yesterday, China remained silent about Chen's victory.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman reportedly declined to comment, only referring all queries to the Taiwan Affairs Office.
That office had no immediate comment, though one official reportedly said they were watching the election closely on television and officials were holding a closed-door meeting late into the night to decide how to respond.
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