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Wed, Nov 21, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Dec. 1 elections: Election observers from abroad begin to arrive in Taiwan

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the legislative polls just two weeks away, observers from overseas have begun to arrive in Taiwan to watch the elections, take part in related campaigns or discuss post-election party realignment, sources said yesterday.

Two groups of former officials, scholars and writers from Japan -- which will account for around 100 election-related visitors -- will arrive this week to observe the elections and to assist the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) in its election drive, sources said.

Some of the most prominent of those arriving will be Nakajima Mineo, president of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Arima Genji, a former Japanese minister of state for defense in the 1970s, renowned Japanese cartoonist Kobayashi Yoshinori, as well as Japanese writer Kamisaka Fuyuko.

One of the groups, called the "TSU Campaign Troupe Saluting Lee Teng-hui (李登輝)," will hold a press conference tomorrow to voice its support for former president Lee as well as the TSU, sources at the TSU said.

Another major group of scholars will take part in a one-day seminar on post-election Taiwan on Dec. 2, a symposium jointly held by the Government Information Office and National Chengchi University, the conference's secretary-general, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), told the Taipei Times.

The seminar will focus on three themes: the significance of Taiwan's elections and democratic consolidation, comparative analysis of democratic elections, and Taiwan's democracy, peace and security in East Asia, according to the symposium's tentative schedule.

Overseas participants include Thomas Gold, a sociologist at University of California, Berkeley, Andrew Nathan, a China specialist at Columbia University, Bonnie Glaser, a consultant on Asian affairs with the Pacific Forum CSIS, and Michael Yahuda, a political scientist from the London School of Economics and Political Science, among others.

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) is scheduled to give a keynote speech during the luncheon called: "Democracy and democratic consolidation: a comparative experience."

Stanley Kao (高碩泰), director general of the department of North American Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said members of the US Republican National Council and members of Progressive Policy Institute, a US Democratic Party think tank, are scheduled to visit Taiwan after the Dec. 1 elections.

In addition, four scholars from the Asian-African College of Moscow University arrived in Taiwan on Monday to attend an academic symposium organized by Tamkang University as well as to take advantage of the opportunity to observe the elections, sources said.

The Russian delegation included M. Meyer and A. Karneev, dean and deputy dean of the college.

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