President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday expressed thanks to Taiwan High Court judges for their hard work in adjudicating a pan-blue lawsuit over the past seven months.
Both Chen and Lu also called on opposition leaders and all the people of Taiwan to safeguard the nation's democracy by accepting the ruling and to be rational about the situation.
After the High Court dismissed the pan-blue camp's lawsuit, DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday called on the pan-blue camp to acknowledge the verdict and learn from US Senator John Kerry, who graciously conceded defeat after the results of the US presidential election were known Wednesday.
"The High Court verdict just came after the US presidential election finished, and this offers a good lesson for pan-blue leaders and supporters to realize the value of democracy and the importance of a country's unity," Chang said in the news conference held after the verdict was announced.
Nearly seven months after the pan-blue camp filed the lawsuit, wherein it claimed the result of the March 20 presidential election should be annulled, the High Court yesterday ruled against the pan-blue camp and said the election of Chen was valid.
"We are gratified to see the outcome but we don't feel much joy, since the public image of the legal system has been hurt by the pan-blue camp's groundless accusations," said a DPP attorney Wellington Koo (顧立雄).
"If the pan-blue camp decides to appeal, we will respect that, but we really hope it will stop sabotaging the country's last defense of social trust just because they want to win," he said.
Chang urged the pan-blue camp to respect the ruling, stressing it is time for Taiwan to move on and find common ground.
"If the pan-blue camp still refuses to come to its senses and continues to encourage protests, I think voters will react to this in the legislative elections," Chang said.
Facing angry pan-blue protesters outside the High Court building yesterday, DPP legislative caucus leader Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) urged the pan-blue camp to accept the verdict and concede that it lost the presidential election. "Only by accepting their defeat can a person make a comeback," Ker said.
"We really hope that the disputes over the presidential election come to an end with this verdict," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.
In related news, according to a survey conducted by the Government Information Office between Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, 59.1 percent of respondents think that the pan-blue camp should accept the High Court's verdict, while 9.7 percent said the pan-blue camp should appeal. The survey questioned 1088 people.