Wed, Mar 17, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ PoliticsVCD actor backs pan-blue

An actor who starred in the Special Report VCDs released last October that mocked Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), yesterday announced that he will vote for the pan-blue ticket and apologized for taking part in the satirical production. Peng Han-yang (彭瀚洋) told reporters at a news conference held by the pan-blue camp that he felt sorry for playing a role that he did not identify with. Peng said his performance was "a bad example" to society and stressed that he had not expected the VCDs to generate such a huge controversy. Peng also said he will vote for Lien and Soong because he believed they could bring a better life to the people of Taiwan, including an actor like himself.

■ Election

Foreigners to observe poll

More than 40 US academics and experts on East Asia affairs are expected to come to Taiwan to observe Saturday's election. Tang Ben, director of the Asian Studies Center of American Claremont Institute said the observers are all either professors or experts from think tanks. They include Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, and Richard Baum, the director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. Some of the observers have been invited by the government or civic groups. Rosen, who left for Taipei Monday night, said this will be the third time he will observe an election in Taiwan. He was here for the 1991 legislative elections and the 2001 Kaohsiung mayoral election.

■ Politics

Chang sues fugitive tycoon

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Ching-fang (張清芳) filed a libel lawsuit against fugitive Tuntex chief Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) yesterday over Chen's accusations that he had meddled in the bidding for a construction project. Chang said starting that March 1, the fugitive tycoon has made contradictory accusations to tarnish his reputation but failed to produce solid evidence that he had broken the law. On Monday, Chen held a press conference in the US, accusing Chang of sending his assistant to apply pressure on Tung Ting Gas Corp in order to gain from the Tatan thermal power plant project in Taoyuan. Chen also played a tape he claimed was a recording of a conversation between Chang's aide and Tung Ting's president. Chang said the authenticity of the voices on the tape could not be proved and he demanded Chen desist in making unfounded allegations.

■ Election

CEC gives voter numbers

More than 16.5 million people are eligible to vote in this Saturday's election, the Central Election Commission announced yesterday. The exact number of eligible voters stands at 16,507,179, according to the commission's newly released election gazette. The number of people eligible to vote in the referendum is 16,497,746. The commission said the difference between the two numbers is due to the fact that overseas Taiwanese who have registered for the election but do not have legal residence in Taiwan cannot vote in the referendum. Taipei County has the largest number of eligible voters: 2,685,778, while Taipei City has 1,981,562 and Kaohsiung has 1,117,380. Other large constituencies include Taoyuan County with 1,273,026 eligible voters, Taichung County with 1,070,877, Changhua County with 947,526, Kaohsiung County with 919,717, Tainan County with 826,288 and Pingtung County with 669,646.

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