Fri, Jan 08, 2016 - Page 1 News List

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: DPP candidate Walis Pelin accuses Aboriginal lawmakers of vote-buying

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidate Walis Pelin yesterday said that some Aboriginal lawmakers seeking re-election in the polls on Saturday next week have committed vote-buying offenses by resorting to Chinese influence, presenting Aboriginal township mayors with vehicles and offering voters favors in China.

Speaking at a televised policy event organized by the Central Election Commission (CEC), Pelin said that a number of candidates apparently secured cars from China and distributed them to township heads for their personal use in an attempt to win their support.

Some of them also took voters to China to accept favors there, Pelin said, calling on Aborigines to vote for candidates like himself, who are challengers to “incumbents” and do not have access to improper influence in China.

Pelin later told reporters that the legislators in question had received vehicles from Chinese enterprises or local Chinese officials before presenting them to township mayors at donation ceremonies held by non-profit organizations.

“At these ceremonies, the legislators say that the cars are donated by China,” he said.

Some lawmakers took Aboriginal voters to China on so-called cultural exchange tours for which the voters only had to pay for their airfare; all other expenses were covered by Chinese establishments, he said.

He said that he pressed charges against candidates who adopted similar ploys in the nine-in-one elections in 2014, but the court ruled that the defendants had not engaged in vote-buying because the favors were paid for by the Chinese, not by themselves.

Other indigenous candidates, such as Ilan Mingjinuan, urged voters to boycott such candidates who buy votes.

Candidate Yuming Suyang said that he had filed a complaint with the commission over the large size of Aboriginal electoral districts, which he said had led to rampant, vote buying.

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