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Taiwan Cardinal wants fair end to election dispute

Catholic leaders in Taiwan have called for a fair and reasonable approach in the dispute over the presidential election.

Yesterday Taiwan heading for a recount as President Chen Shui-bian (pictured) rejected allegations of vote-rigging and said an attempt to assassinate him hours before the poll was genuine.

Chen wom by fewer than 30,000 of more than 13 million votes cast the day after he was shot while campaigning in Tainan, southern Taiwan.

After the results were announced, protesters claimed voting irregularities and demanded a recount and an independent inquiry into the shooting.

Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi of Kaohsiung told UCA News on Sunday that the church "condemns any kind of violence, including the armed attack against the president and his vice president."

He called on all Catholics to remain calm.

"Our common goal is to love Taiwan and to create a better society," the cardinal said.

The poll dispute "must be handled fairly," he said, advising that "political parties should use lawful, reasonable and peaceful ways to solve the problem."

Taiwan Catholic leaders call for fair resolution to election dispute (Catholic News Service 22/3/04)

Taiwan leader denies vote-rigging (BBC 23/3/04)
Taiwan heads for a recount (AFP/Times of India 24/3/04)
Cardinal Shan Kuo-Hsi

24 Mar 2004