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CEC head resigns over election failings

2018/11/25 18:55

Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Amid heavy criticism over the handling of election work and vote counting on election day Saturday, Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) resigned Sunday.

Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka told CNA Sunday that Chen's offer to resign was accepted by Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德).

The "nine-in-one" elections that selected candidates to run 11,047 local offices, including 22 top jobs in the nation's special municipalities, counties and cities, were held in conjunction with a record 10 referendums Saturday.

In what is being described as the biggest ever vote in Taiwan, partly because it was the first time 18-20 year olds have been eligible to vote in referendums, voters encountered long lines and many had to wait two or three hours to cast their ballots.

Vote counting began shortly after 4 p.m. -- the official closing time for the polls -- despite the fact that those still queuing up outside polling stations across the country were able to check up-to-date election results on their cellphones while waiting to cast their ballots. Some have said this calls the integrity of the elections into question.

In addition, election workers did not finish counting the votes until 3:02 a.m. Sunday morning, the longest count in the nation's history.

In Taipei, Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), mayoral candidate of the opposition the Kuomintang, has demanded a recount and vowed to file a suit to have the Taipei mayoral election result annulled. He suggested that major flaws in the process look suspiciously like vote rigging.

Ting lost to independent incumbent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) by a razor-thin margin of 0.23 percent, or 3,254 votes, according to the CEC.

(By Elaine Hou and Shih Hsiu-chuan)Enditem/AW