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Kuomintang wary of DPP dirty tricks on election day

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang leaders are ever vigilant.

They are afraid of last-minute dirty tricks the ruling Democratic Progressive Party may play today.

Six out of every ten eligible voters are expected to turn out to vote for 113 lawmakers and two referendums this morning.

There are more than 17.2 million eligible voters, more than half of them determined to boycott the referendums, one for the recovery of “ill-gotten” assets of the Kuomintang and the other against top-level government corruption.

The Kuomintang wants to boycott the referendums, one of which the ruling party wishes to pass. It wants the Kuomintang to return all unlawfully gained property to the people.

“We are bracing for dirty tricks like the shooting on the eve of the presidential election in 2004,” a Kuomintang lawmaker said.

President Chen Shui-bian was shot in Tainan on March 19, 2004 and underground radio stations aired rumors that the shooting was an assassination attempt orchestrated by Beijing. Sympathy votes swung the election on the following day. He was reelected with a paper-thin margin of 0.228 percent.

That’s why all top Kuomintang leaders, from presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou and down, campaigned vigorously on the last day of the government-mandated campaign to consolidate the party’s voter support across the nation.

Ma was stumping for Kuomintang candidates in six places, while Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the party, visited Miaoli and Sanchung, the city opposite Taipei across the Tamsui River.

Wang Jin-pyng, outgoing president of the Legislative Yuan, was back in his home county of Kaohsiung, while Ma’s running mate Vincent Siew rallied support at Chiayi.

Wu Po-hsiung, who has vowed to step down as Kuomintang chairman if the ruling party should win 50 seats in the new legislature, stayed in Taipei as the top coordinator for the campaign to win a two-thirds majority.

“All of us are on high alert,” a Kuomintang spokesman said, “so that we can cope with any contingencies on Election Day.”

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