Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Anti-graft task force to target `high-risk' political hopefuls

TAIPEI , CNA

Justice Minister Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) said yesterday that legislative aspirants who are struggling to be elected are in a "high-risk" group in terms of the likelihood of resorting to bribery and that they will be the main target of ongoing anti-graft operations.

Chen made the remarks after he and Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭), state public prosecutor general, unveiled the plaque of an anti-graft task force at the State Public Prosecutor General's Office, to prepare for the Dec. 11 legislative elections.

Noting that the elections will be extremely fierce, as it will be the last elections using the multi-seat, one-vote system, he said the law enforcement authorities have reason to believe that those who are struggling on the threshold of being elected could attempt to use bribery to ensure victory.

A record 387 legislative aspirants have registered to vie for a seat in the 225-member Legislative Yuan, but from the next legislature on, the number of seats will be halved.

Also, the election system for legislators will be changed to a "single-seat, two-votes" system, meaning that there will be one winner in each of the smaller constituencies, with voters given one vote for the election candidate and one for the political party they support.

Commenting on the statement issued by the Prosecutors' Association that its members do not want to claim anti-graft cash awards, Chen expressed admiration, but said that the measure will continue.

Chen explained that the cash award for prosecutors and citizens differs, noting that a citizen reporting bribery can claim half of the cash award of NT$5 million (US$149,700) if a prosecutor establishes a case and files a suit.

If the first trial results in a conviction, the citizen can then claim the remaining half.

Prosecutors, however, can only claim the first half of the cash after the first ruling and the remaining half after the court's final ruling.

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