Wed, Jun 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislator, officials convicted of vote buying

BRIBES:The court ruled that Chien Tung-ming and his campaign staff had bought votes from Aboriginal residents, paying from NT$1,500 to NT$3,000 per vote

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Then-president Ma Ying-jeou, center, joins then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate Chien Tung-ming, left, at an election campaign rally in Pingtung County in an undated photograph.

Photo: Lee Li-fa, Taipei Times

The Pingtung District Court on Monday handed down guilty verdicts with prison terms to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chien Tung-ming (簡東明), also known by his Paiwan name, Uliw Qaljupayare, and 158 other people on charges of vote buying and accepting money in exchange for votes.

It was one of the nation’s largest ever investigations into vote buying in the run-up to the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16 last year.

The court ruled that Chien, campaign staff and other KMT officials had bought votes from Aboriginal residents in Pingtung County, paying from NT$1,500 to NT$3,000 per vote, a breach of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).

Chien, 66, was given a prison term of five years, six months and deprived of his civil rights for six years.

Besides Chien, 158 defendants were found guilty in Monday’s first ruling, which can be appealed.

Six officials at the KMT’s Pingtung branch office were convicted and given prison terms ranging from four years and two months to three years and six months.

The remaining defendants were Chien’s campaign office staff charged with acting as vote brokers for Chien’s camp and the KMT, and local Aboriginal residents who took money in exchange for promising to vote for Chien.

Chien lost his legislative seat on Monday when the guilty verdict was announced by the court, Ministry of the Interior officials at the Civil Affairs Bureau said.

However, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) last night said that according to an amendment to election regulations, Chien would be suspected from his duties and rights as a legislator, but would retain his title of legislator.

Su said he would check with the legislature’s legal department to verify the law regarding the case.

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