Fri, Jan 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Two held in vote-buying probe

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Pingtung County prosecutors yesterday detained two people after questioning five earlier this week in connection with allegations of vote-buying against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Aboriginal Legislator Chien Tung-ming (簡東明).

Pingtung’s move came one day after four suspected vote-brokers allegedly working for Chien were held incommunicado following a probe by the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office.

Pingtung prosecutor Yang Wan-li (楊婉莉) said that the county district prosecutors’ office launched an investigation after receiving reports of people paying cash in exchange for votes during the campaign for Aboriginal legislative candidates in several constituencies.

Yang said the office conducted coordinated raids with representatives from Criminal Investigation Bureau units and local police stations on Friday last week, the day before the elections, searching more than a dozen places and residences in Sandimen (三地門) and Majia (瑪家) townships. Situated in the hills and mountain areas of Pingtung, the two townships are mainly inhabited by Paiwan Aborgines.

Armed with warrants, officials detained 30 people for questioning in the operation last Friday. Five more people were summoned for questioning on Wednesday.

Two of the suspects, surnamed Wang (王) and Ma (馬), were held incommunicado yesterday morning, after investigators found cash and lists of eligible voters in their possession, Yang said.

Several residents have reportedly admitted accepting cash in exchange for votes, with Wang and Ma allegedly acting as vote-brokers for Chien, prosecutors said.

Chien, also known as Uliw Qaljupayare, is from Pingtung’s Paiwan Community, and had served as Shihzih Township (獅子) head.

He first won an Aboriginal legislative seat for the KMT in 2008, but was embroiled in litigation on vote-buying charges.

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