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TAIWAN CHIEF PROMISES DEMOCRATIC REFORMS

SHARE TAIWAN CHIEF PROMISES DEMOCRATIC REFORMS

President Lee Teng-hui on Wednesday promised more democratic reforms after the ruling Nationalist Party's setback in Taiwan's first multiparty elections, acknowledging a decline in his party's credibility.

The Nationalists suffered their worst losses in 40 years in power in Saturday's balloting. The party lost several key local county executive posts and garnered 58 percent of the total vote, down from 70 percent in 1986."It was a setback for our party as far as our original goal was concerned," said Lee, who also chairs the Nationalist Party.

"The decision made by the voters was not a coincidence," Lee told the party's decisionmaking Central Standing Committee, "It indicates the various reform measures undertaken by the government in recent years had failed to meet the public's expectations."

Opposition supporters, meanwhile, ended four days of massive demonstrations against alleged vote fraud after a recounting of ballots began at the heavily guarded Tainan District Court in southern Taiwan.