High Court decision adds legitimacy to Chen Shui-bian's narrow election win Taiwan's High Court yesterday ruled against an opposition lawsuit seeking to annul the result of the bitterly disputed March 20 presidential elections. 'The lawsuit filed by the plaintiff is rejected. For this, the plaintiff must pay for the court fees,' court spokesman Wen Yao-yuan said of the verdict in the case filed by the opposition Kuomintang-People First Party alliance. The decision also added legitimacy to the narrow victory of President Chen Shui-bian, who won office by a margin of 0.22 per cent. The High Court has yet to rule on a second lawsuit, which seeks to call a fresh election. Mr Wen said a re-examination of the ballots by the court showed that Mr Chen had still won by about 25,000 votes, 4,000 less than the original result. The plaintiff, the KMT's Lien Chan and the PFP's James Soong Chu-yu, claimed the mysterious election-eve shooting of Mr Chen and his running mate, Vice-President Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, was staged by the president to win sympathy votes as the two were only injured slightly. They also claimed that thousands of police and soldiers had been unable to vote because the authorities put them on special alert after the shooting. Yesterday's verdict, already expected by most people in Taiwan, including the opposition, still drew angry protests from Mr Lien, who alleged that the court had sided with the president. 'The verdict is full of faults, and the High Court failed to verify many facts that could lend proof to the irregularities,' he said. He also mocked the Presidential Office's appeal for him to admit defeat. It had urged Mr Lien to learn a lesson from US Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry who, for the sake of national unity, conceded to incumbent US president George W. Bush in the just-concluded US presidential elections. 'Mr Chen, you think you can compare with President Bush?' asked Mr Lien, adding there were no similarities between the two election results as no mysterious shooting affected the outcome of the election in the US. Mr Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party hailed the court ruling and called for a final end to the dispute. 'Justice is being upheld and it's time for us to call it quits as people have already had enough of this,' said Lee Ying-yuan, deputy secretary-general of the DPP. Mr Lien said he would appeal against the court's decision. Lawyers for Mr Lien said the KMT chairman had also filed another lawsuit seeking a fresh election. No clashes were reported yesterday between a 2,000-strong police force and about 3,000 opposition supporters who rallied outside the High Court in anticipation of the verdict.