Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Political

Huang's lawyer files appeal

A lawyer for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) yesterday filed an appeal with the Executive Yuan to rescind the Central Election Commission's (CEC) declaration of Chen Chu (陳菊) as the winner in the Dec. 9 polls. Huang's lawyer Ho Hsu-ling (何旭苓) and KMT Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ru (賴素如) told the Commission for Examining Petitions and Appeals that there were many flaws during the election process and so the CEC should nullify Chen's win. Accused of vote-buying by Chen's campaign office on the eve of the election, Huang later filed a lawsuit against Chen's camp and asked the court to seize the ballots and conduct a recount.

■ Transport

KRTC asks for extension

A Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) official confirmed yesterday that it has requested that the completion of the mass rapid transit (MRT) system for the city be extended by 18 months. Fan Chen-po (范陳柏), KRTC general manager, said that because of construction accidents, labor shortages and funding problems, the system will not be able to meet the original goal of inauguration at the end of next year. Fan expressed hope that the company will make full preparations so that the long-awaited MRT system will be inaugurated in mid-2008. A section of the red line of the MRT system was opened to the public for a test ride on Nov. 1. Among the more-than 40,000 people who rode the line, the approval rating was 95 percent. But Fan said that construction accidents in recent years, such as one section of the orange line which sustained two cave-ins, have seriously disrupted the progress of construction. In addition, the number of laborers required for the intersection of the red and orange lines is very large and cannot be resolved in time, he said.

■ Politics

Soong takes long vacation

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his wife arrived on Thursday in San Francisco, where they will be vacationing. Soong, who was defeated in the Dec. 9 Taipei mayoral election and announced his retirement from politics later that same day, said he might stay in the US for as long as six months. According to Soong, prior to his departure from Taiwan on Tuesday, he reached a consensus with former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰), KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on consolidating their two parties in time for next year's legislative elections and the 2008 presidential election.

■ society

Taipei to celebrate Xmas Eve

The Taipei City Government will spread some holiday cheer tomorrow, Christmas Eve, by inviting residents to attend a Christmas party. Before handing over the city government to the new mayor on Monday, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will lead representatives from private businesses and church members in singing carols and handing out candy around the streets of Xinyi at 9pm on Christmas Eve. For new immigrants, there will be a "New Immigrants Christmas Feast" at the Civic Plaza at noon tomorrow. New immigrants will be invited to join in with songs from various countries, which is intended to show support and encouragement to newcomers. A Christmas party will be held at the plaza at 6:30pm with pop stars and bands performing seasonal songs.

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