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Mass Protest in Taiwan over Election Results Continues

The mass rally in central Taipei City on the island of Taiwan has so far continued for 100 hours in protest over the alleged unfair election, and some protesters have begun a hunger strike.

Shortly after the poll results of the election were announced on March 20, the opposition coalition of the Kuomintang and People First Party questioned the legitimacy of the election, which was won by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the leadership of Chen Shui-bian. The coalition also said the shooting was suspicious, and demanded an investigation.

The protesters demanded a recount and the truth about the shooting of Taiwanese leaders Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu on the eve of the election on March 19.

Chen Shui-bian said Wednesday he was willing to meet Lien Chan and James Soong, on condition that the protesters disperse.

Protesters took to the streets on the night of March 20 in Taipei, Kaohsiung and other major cities in Taiwan, and gathered in front of parliament despite cold weather and rain.

Lien reiterated his appeal to Taiwan's "election committee" not to make public the winner of the election as scheduled on Friday as disputes over the election remain unresolved.

Lien's Kuomintang decided to hold a large rally in protest.

Chen Shui-bian reportedly won only 29,000 more votes than the opposition coalition, while rejected votes total 330,000. Opposition leaders have said the shooting incident resulted in sympathy votes for Chen.

(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2004)

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