Mon, Sep 21, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Borough warden held on suspicion of vote-buying

COUNTERCLAIMS Candidate Chang Ken-hui’s office has denied an allegation of vote-buying, while Chang Sho-wen threatens to sue anyone who sues his father

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yunlin Prosecutors’ Office detained a borough warden yesterday on suspicion of buying votes for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate for the Yunlin legislative by-election on Saturday.

Prosecutors and investigators said they have questioned 18 people, including Dounan Township (斗南) warden and borough wardens.

Office spokesman Chiang Te-lung (蔣得龍) said 11 borough wardens admitted that they each had received NT$1,000 to support the KMT candidate Chang Ken-hui (張艮輝), a professor at Yunlin Technology University, and one person was detained after questioning.

Chang’s campaign office has denied the allegation, saying that Chang would resign or not take up the seat if he were to be elected and the allegation proved true.

The incident also sparked political infighting in the KMT as Chang’s office fingered his rival, independent candidate Chang Hui-yuan (張輝元), as the mastermind behind the smear campaign.

Chang Hui-yuan’s son, former KMT legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), challenged Chang Ken-hui’s camp to take them to court and threatened to sue them if they did.

The by-election has been called to fill the seat left vacant by Chang Sho-wen, who won the seat in January last year, but lost it earlier this month after the High Court found him guilty of participating in a vote-buying scheme organized by his father.

Chang Hui-yuan, who was found guilty of vote buying in the first trial, registered with the KMT to run in the by-election on behalf of his son earlier this month.

The KMT later rejected his registration based on the revised version of its “black-gold exclusion clause,” which states that party members who are found guilty of corruption in their first trial cannot to be nominated for any election.

Meanwhile, the KMT said yesterday it would discuss the party’s candidate for the Nantou legislative by-election at a meeting today.

The seat had been held by Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who became premier on Sept. 10. The Public Officials Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) states that a by-election must be held within three months, or in this case before Dec. 10.

As the local elections are scheduled for Dec. 20, the KMT said it hoped to see the Nantou legislative by-election held in tandem with the local elections. But it said the decision would have to be made by the Central Election Commission.

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