Sat, Feb 20, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Election annulment sought

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Prosecutors yesterday filed a court application to nullify the election of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Aboriginal Legislator Chien Tung-ming (簡東明) amid vote-buying charges against Chien’s wife and the staff of his campaign office.

Twelve people, allegedly on Chien’s campaign team, have been questioned and detained on suspicion of paying cash to eligible electorate residents in exchange for voting for Chien in the Jan. 16 legislative elections.

Taichung Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hung Chia-yuan (洪家原) said they made the motion to the Taichung District Court because an application to nullify a poll result for an elected candidate must come within 30 days after the election.

“At the current time, the judicial probe into vote-buying charges on Chien’s case is continuing as conducted by prosecutors in Taichung, as well as in Pingtung and Taitung counties,” Hung said. “This motion was co-ordinated by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office, where it was decided the prosecutors’ office in Taichung would head up the application for filing it at the Taichung District Court.”

Hung said his office alleges Chien’s wife gave money to four women in the Taichung area, where they handed out NT$300 to people eligible to cast ballots for Aboriginal legislative candidates to vote for Chien.

Through the investigation, 50 people in Taichung were quoted by prosecutors as having admitted receiving cash from the women working for Chien’s wife, where it was called “subsidy money for transportation expenses” for returning to their home district to vote, prosecutors said.

Pingtung prosecutors through their probe have questioned and detained four vote-brokers allegedly working for Chien after evidence pointed to them paying between NT$1,000 and NT$2,000 to local residents for their votes.

Among the four suspects detained were Ma Chao-ming (馬昭明), director of the KMT’s local chapter at Pingtung’s Sandimen Township (三地門), and Wang Jung-yi (王榮儀), director of the KMT’s local chapter in Pingtung’s Majia Township (瑪家).

Investigators said they have testimony from witnesses regarding the vote-buying activities in Pingtung, and that cash and lists of eligible voters were found at the residences of Ma and Wang.

Chien, whose Paiwan name is Uliw Qaljupayare, is from Pingtung’s Paiwan community. 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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