Wed, May 19, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP urges pan-blues to admit defeat

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The physical recount of the election ballots ended yesterday with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) exceeding the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) by 6,000 votes among the controversial ballots presented to the Taiwan High Court, snuffing out the pan-blue alliance's hope of overturning the election result, senior DPP officials said yesterday.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said lawyers for the KMT-People First Party (PFP) alliance challenged at least 40,000 ballots during the recount.

Around 23,000 originally marked as valid votes for Chen were disputed, while 16,000 counted as for Lien are now disputed.

Chang said that among the 330,000 invalid ballots, the ratio of ballots for Chen and Lien was 2:1, that is, it was clearly recognizable that 50 percent of the invalid ballots belonged to Chen and 25 percent of invalid ballots belonged to Lien.

Therefore, the Chen-Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) ticket beat the Lien-PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) ticket by a difference of 6,000 votes, Chang said.

Although Chen was declared the winner by a razor-thin margin of 29,000 votes, it is impossible for the pan-blues to reverse the results even if the Taiwan High Court rules that the 6,000-plus disputed votes belong to Lien, Chang said.

"It is impossible for the pan-blue alliance to reverse the election results," Chang said.

He urged Lien and Soong to face facts -- and consider the public's demand for social stability.

Chang said if the ballot-identification standards mandated in the Election and Recall Law (選罷法) had not been amended last year, the Chen-Lu ticket would have won over the Lien-Soong ticket by around 100,000 votes.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) also called on Lien and Soong to recognize the recount results and show their sportsmanship by attending the presidential inauguration tomorrow.

"The fairness of the election has been assured in the recount. The game is over. As the leaders of the opposition parties, Lien and Soong should acknowledge this fact and let the people to recover from the frenzy of the election," Lee said.

If Lien and Soong really regret-ted their loss and were determined to regain the support of the people, they should focus on the year-end legislative elections instead of using technical quibbles to try to deny the legitimacy of the March 20 results, Chang said.

Saying the people want the controversy to be ended soon, Chang cited a recent public opinion poll that said 73 percent of the the public felt it was impossible for the election result to be overturned while 53 percent did not want to see the result changed.

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