The Democratic and Republican parties have warned that it could take weeks to decide the Nov. 2 election and have hired rival armies of attorneys and observers for the battle. \nWith US President George W. Bush and Democratic Senator John Kerry running neck-and-neck in opinion polls, both camps fear a repeat of the 2000 election debacle in Florida. \nKerry said on Sunday that he had put together a legal "dream team" to protect voter rights. \n"If it is a close election in any one state, it may be days or weeks before we know who the actual winner is," warned Tom Josefiak, general counsel for President Bush's campaign. \nIn Florida four years ago, a controversy erupted over punch-card ballots that often failed to clearly show which candidate's name was punched out. The confusion left the US without a clear election winner for 36 days until the Supreme Court, in a controversial 5 to 4 decision, halted a recount of Florida ballots. \nBush beat vice president Al Gore by 537 votes and the Florida result secured the presidency. \nThere are growing fears that the winner between Bush and Kerry will also not be announced on election night. \nProject Vote, a non-partisan organization, predicts a litany of lawsuits, notably regarding "provisional" ballots that allow people who are not sure whether they are registered to cast a vote, leaving authorities with the task of deciding whether the vote should be counted. \nLegal challenges could be filed against the accuracy of electronic voting machines that do not provide papers that could be used for a possible recount. \nThe Republican and Democratic parties will deploy tens of thousands of observers to monitor the election across the country and discourage attempts by both camps to intimidate voters. \nOn Sunday, Kerry said at an African American Baptist church in Ohio that he had put together a "voter protection dream team" of top lawyers to forestall vote fraud and disenfranchisement. \n"Let me just make clear to you, we are not going to let this be a repeat of 2000, we are not going to see a million African Americans deprived of their votes in America," he said. \nLawsuits contesting ballots, voter registration and voting machines have already been filed. \nElliot Mincberg, legal director of People for the American Way Foundation, said the early law-suits may help avoid post-poll challenges.
‘DEMOCRATIC FISH’: Soichiro Hayashi said he wants to return Taiwan’s kindness after it helped with relief efforts after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami Japanese fish farmers are ready to help Taiwan after China banned Taiwanese grouper imports, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The Chinese General Administration of Customs suspended imports of the fish on Monday last week, citing prohibited chemicals and excessive levels of oxytetracycline allegedly found in grouper imports since December last year. Soichiro Hayashi, president of the Hayashi Trout Farm in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, is leading the push for Taiwanese grouper imports, the newspaper said. His call has caught the attention of several large sushi chains, the report said. Hayashi, who is the Fukushima branch head of the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan,
‘TROJAN HORSE’ SCHEME: The comment that a bridge would allow China’s PLA to easily launch an attack shows ‘a lack of backbone,’ Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Critics accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of being oblivious to national security concerns after he proposed constructing a bridge to link Kinmen and China’s Xiamen (廈門). Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, made the proposal when presiding over the opening ceremony of the party’s office in Kinmen on Saturday. He said the bridge could solve Kinmen’s population, electricity and garbage problems, as well as serve as a shortcut for leaving or entering Taiwan without traveling via Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport). He also proposed building a hospital in Kinmen to attract people who are seeking medical treatment in
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it is monitoring Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship movements near Taiwan, after the Japanese Ministry of Defense disclosed that Chinese vessels made a rare voyage between Yilan County and Japan’s Yonaguni. The Japanese ministry on Wednesday said that two Chinese navy ships on Tuesday diverted from their usual route of entering the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait and for the first time traveled there between Yilan and Yonaguni. The Japan Self-Defense Forces said that it picked up the presence of China’s Type-056A Jiangdao-class corvette 220km north of Yonaguni at 9am on Tuesday. The