Monday, March 22, 2004

Social instability in Taiwan - Summary of the last 4 days' events.

Friday, 19 Mar.04, the president and vice-president are gunned shot.

President Chen and the vice president Annette Lu, after receiving treating in a Tainan Hospital.

All campaigning activities are canceled by both candidates;
Nevertheless the emotions among the public raised to a very high level of tension. It was quite visible the inability to deal with a young democracy. The atmosphere in public was not a very pleasant one. Some had fear to express their opinion and some were furious if they heard anything contrary to their own opinion.
Some speculate about the source and political intention of this attempt.

President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu canvass for votes in Tainan yesterday seconds after being shot. A bullet hole is visible in the windshield of the Jeep.

Saturday, 20 Mar.04, The DPP wins the elections with a margin of around 30000 votes, a total of 50.11% from the valid votes (see report here)

President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu announce their victory in yesterday's presidential election at the Democratic Progressive Party's campaign headquarters in Taipei last night.

Sunday, 21 March 2004, The KMT announces their concern on the votes counting and demands a recount, but the Cabinet said to let the legal system rule on the matter. KMT also demanded an independent investigations on the president’s shooting incident.
The KMT supporters went out to the streets to protest against the election results, supporting Chairman Lien Chan.
The protest turned out to be very noisy and violent at certain points:

A pan-blue campaign truck rams into the gate of the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office while demonstrators try to push the gate over early yesterday morning.

Pan-blue passion
A supporter of the pan-blue camp waves the national flag and blows a whistle during the protest in front of the Presidential Office at dawn yesterday demanding an election recount.

KMT's supporters protest in front of the presidential palace in Taipei since saturday night. For more photos covering the last four days events click here.

Monday, 22 March 2004, The KMT supporters’ protests lasted trough out the night.
After riots in Kaohsiung and Taichung, the Taiwan High Court asked for all presidential ballots to be seized and a recount organized.
According to a local newspaper the pan-blue camp claims it has heard that the President Chen, Vice President Lu and close colleagues frequently held secret meetings at a monastery in Nantou County. It also claims that followers from that monastery had told them that Chen was planning to create a shooting incident on March 19 to boost his election chances.

SCOTCHING RUMORS: After suggestions by political opponents that the president's shooting was a stunt, the presidential office released more pictures and records.

High Court grants pan-blue ballot demand
RECOUNT: After riots in Kaohsiung and Taichung, the Taiwan High Court asked for all presidential ballots to be seized and a recount organized
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong yesterday filed their application to the Taiwan High Court to ask the court to seize all the ballots from Saturday's presidential election and recount them.

Divided and Tense Taiwan is waiting for the recounting results

What is going to happen next… will dictate Taiwan's stability and order, in the near future.

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