Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 4 News List

CEC issues bulletin for presidential campaign

CNA , TAIPEI

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday issued a formal campaign bulletin for next year's presidential election.

According to the bulletin, the commission will accept candidacy registrations between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 next year. Qualified candidates will draw lots on Feb. 13 to decide the order in which their names will be printed on the ballot. Election day is set for March 20.

Commission Chairmsan Huang Shih-cheng (黃石城) said he hopes that the election will be a "gentleman's race" in which candidates refrain from using negative or mud-slinging campaign strategies.

He also gave the assurance that the CEC will handle election affairs in a neutral, transparent and impartial manner.

"I'll see to it that all central and local election staff adopt a neutral, impartial attitude in handling relevant affairs and that the election proceeds smoothly," Huang said.

Huang said the presidential and vice presidential election will cost about NT$1.3 billion, with some 150,000 workers mobilized -- roughly the same as for previous presidential elections.

Candidates who intend to run without the support of any political party must file applications with the commission between Nov. 13 and Nov. 17. This will enable them to begin collecting endorsements for their candidacies from the public.

Each hopeful in this category must receive the endorsement of at least 237,739 adult citizens to qualify to run and each must put down a deposit of NT$1 million with the CEC to obtain the right to collect endorsement signatures.

The collection can be conducted between Nov. 20 and Jan. 3 and those who fail to collect at least half of the required number of signatures will forfeit their deposits.

Also unveiled yesterday was a list of procedures and regulations for overseas ROC citizens wishing to apply to return and cast their ballots.

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