The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) to have last year's presidential election declared null and void on the grounds of suspected fraud and deceit.
The ruling yesterday officially closed the bitter legal dispute over last year's presidential election.
"The evidence presented by the plaintiffs was not adequate enough to show that fraud was involved during the election, nor was it strong enough to override the High Court's ruling. The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Taiwan High Court ruling which had decided that the pan-blue camp lawsuit had failed," said a spokesman for the Supreme Court Siew Hun-kuo (蕭亨國) at a press conference yesterday.
Siew was referring to claims made by the pan-blue camp that last year's election was affected by many dubious factors, including unclear motives surrounding the assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on the eve of the poll and possible interference by a referendum held in tandem with the election.
The Supreme Court rejected the pan-blue legal team's claim that more than 900,000 ballots had been illegally distributed in polling stations.
"After double-checking by both the plaintiff's and defendant's legal teams, only 3,700 defective ballots were identified, which did not affect the election result," said the Supreme Court ruling.
According to the Central Election Commission's (CEC) announcement on March 20, Chen and Lu beat then-KMT Chairman Lien Chan (
Concerning the pan-blue legal team's claim that the CEC's holding of a referendum simultaneously with the election was illegal, the Supreme Court said that before a constitutional interpretation was given, the CEC was simply an administrative agency, which organized elections on instructions from the government.
The court also threw out the claim that a referendum held simultaneously with the presidential election violated the principle of a secret ballot.
The judges did not agree with the claim that the national security mechanism triggered by the March 19 shooting affected the election result.
KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen (
"Everyone ought not to give up because history and the people will ultimately make the final judgement," she said.