Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 2 News List

CEC says it will have another look at ballot decision

RETHINK The Central Election Commission drew flak for allowing misplaced votes to count and will meet tomorrow to reconsider its policy

STAFF WRITER

The Central Election Commission (CEC) said that they would hold a provisional meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue of misplaced presidential ballots.

According to a Chinese-language news report, due to opposition from the pan-blue camp as well as government officials, commission chairman Huang Shih-Cheng (黃石城) said last night that a provisional commission meeting would be held on Monday.

A decision by the CEC on Thursday night that misplaced votes would be considered valid had resulted in conflicts.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus leader Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said on Friday that as a result of the CEC's decision, the pan-blue camp expressed strong opposition.

"Therefore, in order to allow the referendum to operate smoothly, he hoped the CEC would hold another meeting and reconsider its decision on the issue of misplaced ballots," Tsai said.

On Friday night, Premier Yu Shyi-kun, National Security Bureau Deputy Director Wang Chin-wang (王進旺), National Police Administration Director General Chang Si-liang (張四良), director-general of the Government Information Office Huang Hui-chen (黃輝珍), stated their concerns for the result of CEC's decision at a Cabinet meeting.

As the final outcome of the presidential election will be delayed for two or three hours due to the decision that misplaced presidential ballots are still valid, the officials expressed concerns over possible riots on the day of election.

In response to concerns from government officials, Yu stated that he respected the CEC as an independent administrative office and the decisions it makes.

As it is the first national referendum ever held in Taiwan, the DPP and the CEC are concerned about the smooth operations of ballot calculations for the election and the referendum.

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