Alliance agitates for a new election

VOTING: A group claiming to have conducted an independent investigation into this year's presidential election says widespread voter fraud tainted the results

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 2

The Democratic Advancement Alliance said yesterday that it believes the March presidential election should be nullified and conducted again, based on the alliance's investigation into vote fraud during the election.

The alliance also said that the referendum held in conjunction with the election deeply affected the results of the vote.

"Even friends of ours who are pro-green supporters tell us that they think that there were suspicious votes cast during the presidential election," said Hsieh Ta-ning (謝大寧), a spokesperson for the alliance.

Spurred on by the Taiwan High Court's recent announcement that the pro-blue camp's two lawsuits regarding election results would be decided upon before the end of September, the alliance decided to conduct an independent investigation into the situation, Hsieh said.

The alliance announced yesterday that, based on its findings, it believes the presidential election should be nullified because of widespread instances of votes being cast in the names of deceased people and irregular ballot-counting practices being employed in polling places, among other alleged problems.

The Central Election Commission played a central role in the election, Hsieh said. By allowing the referendum to be conducted simultaneously with the presidential election and by repeatedly changing its standards regarding voting procedures for the referendum, the commission opened the door to voting irregularities, he said.

Saying that the alliance is not affiliated with any political group, alliance deputy spokesperson Kuo Chung-i (郭中一) said that the alliance's main goal was to educate the public about its findings.

"We want to help the public understand the truth behind the presidential election," Kuo said.

"Many people don't really understand the legal jargon that's been used in discussion of the lawsuits, so we will use plain language to help the public understand that there weren't just a few administrative mistakes in March's election -- there were widespread instances of possible vote fraud," Kuo said.

As a result, Kuo said, the alliance is planning a series of public discussions about the pro-blue alliance's lawsuits and will soon publish a book on the subject.

A second book and a documentary film on the subject are also planned.