March 24, 2000 --- Independent Candidate James Soong's Team
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Independent Candidate James Soong’s Team

March 24, 2000 ---
Following reports of discarded ballots and vote tally errors in southern Taiwan, independent candidate James Soong’s team yesterday demanded the presidential election results be put on ice until a full probe has been conducted. 

Soong’s running mate Chang Chau-hsiung filed suits with the High Court and Supreme Court urging an investigation into the irregularities, accompanied by several lawmakers and an attorney.

Chang pointed to the reported discovery of 100 ballots marked for Soong in a trash can in Tainan City and inclusion of 40 votes for the independent in winning candidate Chen Shui-bian’s tally at one Kaohsiung County polling station. Mysteriously discarded votes had also been discovered in Kaohsiung City, he said.

The independent team lost to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates Chen and Annette Lu by 312,805 votes. Several Soong allies have called for a new ballot in the light of the alleged discrepancies.

Noting that all the reported errors had occurred in DPP strongholds, Chang said local polling clerks should be investigated on suspicion of vote rigging. Attorney Lin Hsien-tung said that in accordance with election laws, the Supreme Court should also launch a full vote recount and inspection of ballot boxes islandwide.

Earlier yesterday, Chang and the lawmakers visited Huang Shih-cheng, acting chairman of the Central Election Commission, which is due to meet today to verify the credentials of the winning candidates and formally announce the election result.

They urged the Commission to postpone the announcement until the investigation has been completed. Huang said he would put the matter to his colleagues today.


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