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Taiwan Court Orders Election Ballot Boxes Sealed - 2004-03-21


Taiwan's High Court has ordered ballots and other documents from Saturday's presidential election sealed, amid a bitter dispute over the result.

Supporters of opposition candidate Lien Chan are taking to the streets, demanding President Chen Shui-bian's very narrow re-election victory be declared invalid.

Mr. Lien has filed a legal challenge to the election, calling for a recount and an investigation into alleged irregularities including ballot rigging.

The Lien campaign is also questioning the facts behind an apparent assassination attempt on President Chen one day before the polls, which observers say created a sympathy vote and turned the election in his favor.

Shen Fu-hsiung, a senior legislator with President Chen's party, says the legal challenge is really just an emotional reaction: "I think it is a chance for them to vent their anger."

Formal legal proceedings in Mr. Lien's election review application are set to begin within a week.

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