Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 3 News List

AIT, AmCham to hold parties to watch returns

WAITING FOR THE WORD While AIT's shindig is for invited officials and other guests only, anyone can pay to attend Amcham's morning get-together

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

With Americans casting their ballots in the presidential election today, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) will hold separate parties to watch the election results tomorrow morning.

The time difference between here and the US means that any results won't be announced until tomorrow morning Taipei time -- and perhaps even later, if it's a close election.

The AIT is setting up a US Presidential Election Center 2004 to share with its friends and contacts the televised results of the US presidential election as the final voting takes place.

The AIT event will take place at the B2 Banquet Room of the Howard Plaza Hotel from 8am to 11am.

AIT Deputy Director David Keegan will be hosting the event.

The AIT has invited officials from the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), legislators and academics to watch the election results.

The event, however, is open to registered participants only.

AIT officials will offer background information about US elections during the event, an AIT spokesperson said.

MOFA spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said the ministry has set up an observation group under its Department of North American Affairs to watch and analyze the US presidential election.

"We have been watching the campaign trail closely," Lu said.

The AIT said it has no way of ascertaining the number of absentee votes sent to the US from Taiwan.

AmCham's election party will be held at the American Club from 7:30am to 10:30am tomorrow.

"By all accounts, the match-up between US President George W. Bush and his challenger John Kerry will be a close one," AmCham said in a press release.

"The election is widely expected to have a major impact on international relations, including US-Taiwan relations," the press release said.

Brian Asmus, an AmCham organizer of the event, said the group's election party will be open to both American Club members and non-members.

Members will pay NT$550 to attend, while non-members will pay NT$750. The fees will cover the participants' breakfast, Asmus said.

"US citizens will gather over breakfast to watch the televised results, and representatives from Republicans Abroad and Democrats Abroad will be present to offer their views on the election as well as any announced results," AmCham said in its press release.

AmCham declined to comment on which presidential candidate's foreign and trade policies are more beneficial to trade between the US and Taiwan.

It stressed that it represented both the Democratic and Republican parties.

AmCham officials, however, would be willing to share their views on the results of the election at the American Club after they are announced, AmCham said.

The American Club is located at #47 Bei An Rd, just below the Grand Hotel, and its phone number is (02) 2885-8260.

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