Wed, Jun 23, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Kaohsiung City prosecutors warn against bribery

BY-ELECTION After the fiasco of the last city council elections, law enforcement officers will be out in force to prevent vote-buying and bribery

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday reminded candidates in the city council by-election not to bribe voters, saying that law enforcement officers are ready to crack down on vote buyers.

"Our investigation showed that there may not be that many bribery cases, but still, we have to do our job," said Liu Ling-hsing (劉玲興), a chief prosecutor at the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office.

According to Liu, only two years remain of the city council term. In addition, since many candidates are either relatives or friends of the former councilors who lost their titles after they were sentenced in connection with the 2002 speakership election bribery case, they actually share the same vote captains and groups of supporters, so they do not have to be involved in the campaign activities.

In the meantime, Liu said that law enforcement officers have not discovered any bribery-related activities or received any tips of an alleged bribery case.

"Nobody wants to repeat history, so I would urge all the candidates to carry out a clean campaign," said Liu. "Even if they try to bribe, I must say, it may not work that well this time."

Among the total of 44 city councilors in Kaohsiung, 18 lost their titles after they were convicted of bribery during the speakership election bribery case. As a result, with the excpetion of Yencheng, Chichin and Gushan districts, where no councilors were sentenced or stepped down because of the bribery case, the rest of the city's eight constituencies have to come up with another 18 councilors after the by-election.

July 7 will be the first official day of campaigning. The by-election is scheduled for July 17.

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