Wed, Dec 24, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors ready to crack down hard on vote-buying

CNA , TAIPEI

The Supreme Court's Prosecutor-General's Office formed a special task force yesterday to supervise a campaign against vote-buying and violence in the presidential election.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) said he hopes the public will join forces with law enforcement authorities in fighting vote-buying and violence in the presidential election to be held next March.

With less than 100 days to go before the vote, both the ruling and opposition camps have stepped up their campaign activities and Chen said he had already received reports about suspected vote-buying in both northern and southern Taiwan.

"I have forwarded the information to the prosecution authorities for further investigation," Chen said without elaborating.

Chen said all citizens were welcome to provide leads to vote-buying practices. The government is offering cash rewards ranging between NT$500,000 and NT$15 million for information leading to convictions for vote-buying by the presidential candidates themselves or their campaign aides. In the 2001 legislative elections, Chen said, one citizen received a NT$10 million reward for offering leads that led to the conviction of a lawmaker for vote-buying.

The new supervisory team will be headed by Prosecutor-General Lu Ren-fa (盧仁發). Prosecutor-General Wu Kuo-i (吳國愛), Taipei Prosecutor's Office chief Shih Mao-lin (施茂林), National Police Administration Director Chang Shih-liang (張四良) and Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂), director of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, attended the inaugural ceremony to signify their determination to root out election vote-buying and violence.

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