Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Over 150 officials face charges after Nov. 29 elections

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Judicial agencies said they have filed charges against a total of 167 representatives nationwide who were elected in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29 last year.

The total included 29 city and county councilors, eight township mayors and 130 borough and village wardens, and township councilors, figures released by the nation’s prosecutorial offices on Monday showed.

The most prominent names facing charges are Tainan City Councilor Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT); New Taipei City Councilor Chang Chin-ting (張晉婷), who ran under the Taiwan Solidarity Union banner; and independent Pingtung County Councilor Hung Tzu-chien (洪慈綪), whose father was apparently shot and killed by Philippine coast guards in disputed sea waters in May 2013.

If indicted, the 167 elected representatives would have their elected status nullified and the vacancies would be filled either by the candidate who garnered the second-highest number of votes or through a by-election, as stipulated in the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選罷法).

Legal experts and political pundits have said that while the Nov. 29 elections were the largest election ever held in the nation’s history — with the highest number of candidates and positions — they also involved the greatest number of allegations of vote-buying and other suspected fraudulent, corrupt campaign tactics.

They said these are backed up by the total number of filed reports and complaints by prosecutors nationwide, investigations undertaken during the campaign period and subsequent procedures more than a month after the elections.

For representatives to have their elected status nullified, they will have to be found guilty in the first and second rulings, and both court procedures must be completed within six months, with the whole process expected to be finished within a year’s time, according to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act.

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