Fri, Mar 22, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Politics reportedly triggers suicide bid

By Peng Chien-li and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Tongluo Farmers’ Association Chungping Office director Chung Shan-yun (鍾善云) reportedly attempted to commit suicide yesterday in an incident linked to the association’s general manager election in which she was a candidate.

The nine recently elected board members of the Tongluo Township (銅鑼) Farmers’ Association met yesterday to vote for a new general manager, with incumbent Tseng Yi-hsiao (曾義孝) defeating Chung, his sole rival, by one vote, as had been expected.

Association officials called the police after Chung did not show up for work yesterday, although they waited until 8:42am to make the call because they initially thought her unusual absence meant she was shunning the election.

When police arrived at Chung’s residence, they found the door locked and her nephew wandering around outside. Police broke windows to enter the house and discovered Chung unconscious next to an iron bucket containing burning charcoal in a smoke-filled room on the second floor.

Chung was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment, where officials said she scored eight on the Glasgow coma scale. The scale provides a score ranging from 3 to 15; patients with scores between 3 and 8 are usually considered to be in a coma.

Association politics had become heated because of a series of elections, beginning with a March 3 poll for the association’s 45 members’ representatives, which led to intense wrangling between Tseng and Chung’s supporters.

The representatives played a key role in the March 12 election of nine board members and three supervisors.

Sources said that Chung was originally tipped as the odds-on favorite to win yesterday’s general manager election, given that more than half, or 23, of the members’ representatives were in her faction and would therefore give her a majority in yesterday’s poll.

However, one of Chung’s supporters, Liu Han-fu (劉漢富), reportedly switched to Tseng’s faction in the board and supervisor election, a move considered damaging to Chung’s candidacy.

In a dramatic turn of events, Liu claimed that he was bribed by Liu Rei-peng (劉瑞鵬), the son of Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻), to switch sides. He turned himself in to police on March 12.

Chung held a press conference the same day, calling for the results of the board and supervisor election to be annulled.

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