A pledge by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to rid the nation’s electoral system of corruption may prove a real challenge to fulfill, as five out of the six cases that have been investigated involving the use of “ghost voters” to affect election results involved candidates from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), according to statistics from the Central Election Commission.
The commission’s latest statistics showed that six candidates, five from the KMT and one from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), had violated the amended version of Article 146 of the Criminal Code, which regulates the elections, since its amendment in 2007.
The statistics also showed that the KMT had been fined a total of NT$3.3 million (US$111,500) because of the infractions committed by its candidates, against NT$650,000 for the DPP.
Paragraph 2 of the article, an addendum added by the Legislative Yuan on Jan. 24, 2007, stipulates that a person who falsely makes a census registration to obtain the right to vote and does so will be subject to imprisonment for a maximum of five years.
In addition, political parties whose candidates are convicted of transgressing the code are also liable to a fine as collateral punishment in accordance with the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公務人員選罷法).
The five criminal cases for which the KMT was held accountable involved township councilor candidate Ye Yan-hsiang (葉彥祥) in Taitung County’s Jinfeng Township (金鋒) in 2010 (NT$500,000 fine); county councilor candidate Yu Hsien-te (余賢德) in Taitung in 2009 (NT$550,000); village chief candidate Yang Feng-shun (楊鋒舜) in Nantou County’s Wucuo village (吳厝) in 2010 (NT$650,000); township councilor candidate Ku Chih-cheng (古志成) in Taitung’s Yanping Township (延平) in 2010 (NT$650,000); and mayoral candidate Pao Shih-ching (包世晶) in Daren Township (達仁) of the same county in 2009 (NT$950,000).
The sole case for which the DPP was fined involved village chief candidate Liu Yan-tsung (劉燕聰) in Nantou’s Xincheng village (新城) in 2010.