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Wed, Nov 21, 2001 - Page 4 News List

NPA briefs premier on the campaign against vote-buying

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet's National Police Administration (NPA) yesterday briefed Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) on recent developments in the police's crackdown on vote-buying in the lead-up to the Dec. 1 polls. The NPA reported 69 cases where allegations of vote-buying have led to convictions. The administration has received a total of 2,156 reports of alleged vote-buying.

The NPA has reported a total of 68 election-related incidents of violence which are being investigated. Eleven of these incidents have been successfully solved.

The NPA says 36 gang members, 82 listed hoodlums and 2,643 criminal suspects had been arrested within the past month. The police also seized 105 weapons during the arrests.

During his inspection tour of the NPA's offices, Chang reaffirmed the government's seriousness about cracking down on vote-buying. He said that "the government has high expectations for the police's crackdown [on vote-buying]."

"The election's fairness depends on the crackdown's effectiveness," Chang told officials in the administration yesterday, vowing to ensure a fair and clean election this year.

Chang said that, although the police had not been in charge of investigating vote-buying in the past, he believes that the police's familiarity with their policing areas will help prosecutors and investigative officials to catch vote-buying violators.

Chang instructed the administration to reward all well-performing policemen with promotions after the elections because they would be overloaded with extra work during this time. He added that, conversely, penalties would be imposed on policemen who neglected their work.

Chang explained that this year's elections were not only fierce but also decisive for the country's future political and economic development. He said that a "carpet investigation" should be conducted to impede election irreg0ularities and black gold politics.

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