Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Election-related probes need tact

EGGSHELL INQUIRIES?Premier Jiang Yi-huah urged officials to examine allegations of graft, vote-buying and similar crimes impartially and thoroughly

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Should there be any vote-buying or threats of violence in the run-up to the sevin-in-one elections, officials should deal with the cases “impartially” and “in accordance with the law,” Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said yesterday.

At a meeting with officials at the National Police Agency, Jiang issued instructions to interior, intelligence and law enforcement officials, as well as chief prosecutors around the nation, about properly enforcing laws.

“We should not leave the public with an impression that the government engages in selective enforcement for favored candidates when it handles allegations related to vote-buying or threats of violence,” Jiang said.

Jiang said that each alleged case should be looked into thoroughly, no matter which political party is involved, urging officials to make an all-out effort to combat vote-buying and threats of violence — acts that negate the idea of democracy.

However, Jiang also said that law enforcement officers should carefully consider any available evidence before conducting raids or issuing subpoenas, to avoid giving the perception that the measures are deliberate attacks on candidates.

The elections for local government positions and councils at all levels are scheduled to take place on Nov. 29.

It is to be a large-scale poll rarely seen in the nation’s history, in terms of the number of candidates, which is estimated to be well above 20,000, Jiang said.

Central Election Commission Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) said that a total of 13,700 positions are to be filled, and the commission expects to need to deploy more than 200,000 polling staff in 14,700 voting booths across the nation on election day.

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