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"Taiwan election biggest joke in the world"
Updated: 2004-03-29 11:42

Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan said Sunday that Taiwan's recent "presidential election" was "the biggest joke in the world."

HK film star Jackie Chan said Sunday, March 28, 2004 that Taiwan's recent presidential election was ``the biggest joke in the world.''[AP file photo]
Chen Shui-bian was declared to have narrowly won the March 20 vote, but the opposition wants to nullify the results because Lien Chan claimed the vote was marred by irregularities. Thousands protested in the streets for a week after the vote.

"People will talk about it for 100 years," Chan said at a news conference in Shanghai. "It was a shame. Not so good to look at. I was very upset and couldn't fall asleep." Chan's comments were aired on Taiwanese television.


Taiwan's opposition planned to file a petition Monday asking courts for an immediate recount of the "president election" votes.

Protesters demand for a recount. [people.com.cn]

Lien Chan accepted Chen Shui-bian's invitation for a meeting Monday to discuss the political crisis that has deeply divided the society and battered financial markets, and the two sides were deciding on a time and place to meet.

Lien's petition will include several other demands besides a recount, his lawyer Huang Shan-shan said, and the additional issues could drag out the controversy over the vote.

Huang said the petition will demand an independent investigation into the mysterious shooting that lightly wounded Chen and Annette Lu on the last day of campaigning in Tainan.

Lien has said the attack unfairly swung sympathy votes in Chen's way. Many Lien's supporters has said that Chen might have staged the incident.

It also will ask judges to consider whether a referendum held on the same day of the "presidential vote" was just a campaign ploy spearheaded by Chen, Huang said. The referendum, whick asked whether Taiwan should beef up its defense against the mainland, was finally invalidated because the majority of Taiwan voters did not participate.

Lien said during the campaign that Chen didn't have the legal authority to call the referendum. He said Chen was just using the vote to energize his supporters and get them to the polls.

Lien's lawyer also said the petition will demand answers about how many military personnel were unable to vote because they were placed on emergency alert after the shooting. Chen Shui-bian has said that additional personnel weren't blocked from casting ballots, but the opposition believes there's a cover-up.

Chen on Saturday said that he would accept the recount results, and he challenged Lien to pledge the same.

One of Lien's top aides, Ting Yuean-chao, told reporters on Sunday that if other demands are met and the recount is fair, ``of course when the recount results are available, both sides can accept them.''

The High Court has already been examining the need for a re-tally. But Chen has said he's willing to ask the court to skip a hearing on evidence and order an immediate recount.

Nearly half million people gathered Saturday in Taipei for a peaceful protest against the election result. Hours after the event, police cleared away some 500 demonstrators who for a week had been camping out in front of Chen Shui-bian's office.

The recount process could take up to six months if judges hold hearings to evaluate evidence.

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