Mon, Nov 08, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Verdict fodder for legislative poll

BLUE CAMP BLUES The opposition alliance said the High Court ruling was biased in favor of Chen and proves the need for a pan-blue majority in the Legislative Yuan

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Last week's Taiwan High Court ruling against the People First Party (PFP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) lawsuit challenging the results of the March 20 presidential election and the pan-blue camp's decision to appeal became the center of attention this weekend in the legislative campaigns.

While the lawsuit and the pan-blue camp's subsequent appeal may provide ample fodder for the pan-green camp in the coming month, however, it is unlikely to have an impact on the pan-blue camp's plan to win a majority of seats in the legislative elections, said pan-blue lawmakers.

The ruling has been used by both sides to bolster their positions on the controversy surrounding the March 20 election. Depending on who is talking, either the pan-green camp covered up a possible conspiracy to maintain its hold on power, or the pan-blue camp is simply being a sore loser twice over.

While campaigning for legislative candidates over the weekend, both KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) reiterated their contention that the court verdict was just another instance of the DPP using its political clout to impede in the judicial process and hide damning facts about the March 19 shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

The gist of their complaints is not new. Neither is it likely that much will change for the pan-blue camp in terms of its strategy for the Dec. 11 elections, the director-general of the KMT's Organization and Development Affairs, Legislator Liao Feng-te (廖風德) told the Taipei Times yesterday.

"We never expected to win the lawsuit because the High Court's judges are too intimidated by the DPP administration to ever decide in the pan-blue camp's favor," Liao said. The loss is merely another part of the pan-blue camp's overall emphasis on the need for it to win majority in the year-end elections, Liao said.

"Basically, it [the verdict] will clarify the boundary between the blue and green camps. Voters will see that the blue camp represents the truth, while they will more clearly see how the green camp has impeded the judicial process and covered up the facts," Liao said.

The lawsuit verdict is has become part of the pan-blue camp's slogan that the administration is not to be trusted and must be checked through a pan-blue majority in the legislature, lawmakers said. While the pan-blues may hope that the verdict will elicit voter sympathy, recent polls by the Government Information Office and the DPP indicate that up to 30 percent of pan-blue supporters do not support the KMT and PFP's decision to appeal.

Pan-blue lawmakers, however, brushed off the survey results.

"The majority of my supporters want an appeal," said PFP Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) adding that the polls were most likely inaccurate.

Appeal the verdict is not the bitter move of sore losers, said PFP Legislator Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) yesterday in a telephone interview, but instead represents the blue camp's commitment to finding out the truth behind the election's timing and results.

"The people are tired of the whole thing [lawsuit]; they want a normal life. However, they want the truth of the matter. Of course we're going to appeal until the truth is discovered," Lee said.

The second lawsuit challenges the timing of the election. It is still pending.

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