Elec­tion fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion tar­gets 431

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By XIN­HUA in Chang­sha

The Com­mu­nist Party of China’s dis­ci­pline in­spec­tion team in Hu­nan prov­ince has an­nounced it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing 431 CPC mem­bers and gov­ern­ment work­ers on sus­pi­cion of elec­toral fraud in De­cem­ber 2012 and Jan­uary 2013.

Those sus­pected of hav­ing bro­ken the law will be passed on to ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties, the in­spec­tion team said.

The news fol­lows a state­ment from the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture on Satur­day that more than 500 lo­cal law­mak­ers had been dis­qual­i­fied, dis­missed or have re­signed over the elec­toral fraud in Hengyang, the sec­ond-largest city in Hu­nan.

Al­to­gether 527 city law­mak­ers were present at the elec­tion of pro­vin­cial law­mak­ers dur­ing the first ses­sion of the 14th Hengyang peo­ple’s congress be­tween Dec 28, 2012, and Jan 3, 2013.

Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions have shown that the 56 law­mak­ers elected of­fered 110 mil­lion yuan ($18 mil­lion) in bribes to 518 city law­mak­ers and another 68 staff.

The pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture dis­qual­i­fied the 56 dur­ing a ple­nary meet­ing that con­cluded on Satur­day, and leg­isla­tive bod­ies in Hengyang ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tions of 512 peo­ple who took the bribes.

Another five pro­vin­cial law­mak­ers who were not found to have of­fered bribes were none­the­less dis­missed for “se­ri­ous dere­lic­tion of duty”, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment from the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture. Three mu­nic­i­pal law­mak­ers who did not ac­cept bribes re­signed, also for “se­ri­ous dere­lic­tion of duty”.

Another six who took bribes had al­ready been trans­ferred out­side of the city and were no longer in their posts.

Tong Mingqian, then Party chief of Hengyang and in charge of the elec­tion, was sacked from his new post as vice chair­man of the Hu­nan Pro­vin­cial Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence on Dec 21.

The state­ment from the leg­is­la­ture said the fraud, which in­volved a huge num­ber of law­mak­ers and a large amount of money, is ex­tremely se­ri­ous and has had a very neg­a­tive im­pact.

“This is a chal­lenge to China’s sys­tem of peo­ple’s con­gresses, so­cial­ist democ­racy, law and Party dis­ci­pline,” it said.

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