Tue, Apr 06, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Alliance files suit to nullify vote

`UNFAIR' The pan-blue camp wants the High Court to declare the vote illegal and invalid, arguing the election-eve assassination attempt helped their rivals

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lee Fu-tien, the lawyer for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party alliance, left, and KMT spokesman Justin Chou, right, carry a box of papers to the Taiwan High Court yesterday as they filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the presidential election.

PHOTO: CHEN TSE-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Lawyers representing defeated presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰) and his running-mate James Soong (宋楚瑜) filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to nullify the March 20 election and hold a new vote.

The suit was filed against the Central Election Commission (CEC) and all local election commissions across the nation's 21 cities and counties, said Huang Kuo-chung (黃國鐘), one of the three lawyers representing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien and People First Party (PFP) Chairman Soong in the case.

Huang, speaking at KMT headquarters yesterday, said the pan-blue camp is asking the Taiwan High Court to declare the election illegal and invalid.

The lawsuit, which follows a suit filed last Monday requesting a recount and the suspension the elected status of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on the ground of fraud, was part of a legal strategy aiming to contest Chen's razor-thin victory.

Lee Fu-tien (李復甸), another lawyer representing Lien and Soong, said the lawsuit was filed according to Article 102 of the Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法).

"The election should be considered invalid because the CEC had illegally held the presidential election alongside the referendum," Lee said.

According to Lee, holding a referendum on sovereignty issues alongside major national elections is against the Referendum Law.

"Second, the suit was filed against the CEC for failing to postpone the election in view of the mysterious election-eve gunshot incident," Lee said, claiming that the commission failed to exercise its authority independently and fairly in the election.

A gunshot grazed Chen's stomach and hit Lu in the knee on March 19 when the two were campaigning in Tainan.

Calling the incident mysterious, the KMT-PFP alliance claims the incident unfairly swayed the election as it led to sympathy votes for Chen.

Explaining their third reason for filing the suit, Lien's lawyers claimed that "there was serious fraud in the process of the election."

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