Mon, Jul 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Rulings on vote suits near

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court yesterday said that judges will resume hearings today on suits by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party (PFP) alliance and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the presidential election, and will render verdicts on both cases before the end of September.

"Debates between parties will be resumed but judges will decide on non-crucial arguments to be dropped," read a press release by the Taiwan High Court.

"But both cases will be closed before the end of September," the press release said.

According to the high court's schedule, today's hearing, starting at 3pm, will deal with the pan-blue alliance's request to overturn President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) re-election victory. A hearing in another case, in which the alliance requested that the court declare the election's result a fraud, was scheduled to be held at 2:30pm on Friday.

The last hearing regarding the first case was held on June 8 and the last hearing for the second case was held on June 25.

The high court said that judges spent a lot of time discussing with both parties' lawyers how to decide their major arguments in court -- although there have been no official court activities for the past month.

In addition, judges also hope to drop meaningless or weak arguments so the legal process can be carried out and wrapped up as soon as possible.

Regarding the high court's announcement, the pan-blue alliance said that its lawyers have prepared "sufficient evidence" as arguments, while the DPP defense counsels did not make any comments.

"Let the evidence speak," said KMT spokeswoman Kuo Su-chun (郭素春).

"More than 60,000 controversial votes have been affirmed so far. Obviously, it was not a fair election anyway," Kuo said.

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