Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Two detained over vote-buying allegations

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Actor Fang Shun-ji (方順吉) was released on bail and his fiancee's father was detained yesterday after being accused of bribing voters during Sunday's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) poll in Kaoshiung.

Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office Spokesman Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝) yesterday said Fang was released on a NT$50,000 (US$1,500) bail and his fiancee's father, Liu Yao-ren (劉耀仁), was detained by the Kaoshiung District Court.

Investigators on Sunday summoned 10 people for questioning on suspicions that they had bribed voters or received cash during the poll.

Chung said that Liu and Fang went close to Shan Feng Temple (三鳳宮) on Sunday morning, where they allegedly gave NT$500 to NT$1,000 in cash envelopes to voters.

Fang was arrested close to the temple, and Liu fled form the site but was later found and caught in the city.

The President and Vice President Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法) clearly states that acts of bribery during presidential elections and party primaries is illegal, Chung said.

Chung said eight DPP members were released without bail, with three admitting they had accepted cash from Fang and Liu.

Upon leaving the Kaoshiung District Prosecutors' Office, Fang told reporters he had gone to Kaoshiung with his fiancee to participate in the poll and that he had not bribed anyone.

In related news, Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬), also of the DPP, told reporters yesterday that vote-buying had been a serious problem during the primary in Yunlin.

"Campaigners gave wine, boxes of soup and other gifts to voters in exchange for their votes. Some voters were offered cash to support certain candidates," Su said, adding he hoped Yunlin investigators would launch a probe into the matter.

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