Mon, Mar 22, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Civic group proud over number of invalid ballots

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Casting invalid ballots has become an instrument of the people, the spokesman of a group called Millions of Invalid Votes Project said while commenting on the unusually high number of invalid ballots in Saturday's presidential election.

"If we are not happy with the current authorities or the alternative provided, why should we be forced to make a decision?" group spokesman Cheng Tsun-chi (鄭村棋) said yesterday.

To bring attention to public discontent with the candidates in the election, the project and its partner the Alliance of Fairness and Justice, also known as the pan-purple alliance, encouraged voters to spoil their ballots in protest.

The high number of invalid ballots in Saturday's election, 337,297, or 2.5 percent of the total ballots cast, was one of the "suspicions" the pan-blue camp raised in their move to annul the election.

"We do not accept any government that abuses its power. The invalid ballot is a weapon and an instrument of the people," Cheng said.

Supporters of the alliance were asked to spoil their ballots by stamping the photos of the candidates on the mouths to indicate disgust with the empty promises and corruption of both the pan-green and pan-blue camps.

Both groups had expressed disappointment in the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) policies on social issues, unemployment, tax and the use of the country's resources.

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