Law enforcement agencies on Thursday detained 21 people for questioning following raids at four locations in New Taipei City after they received allegations of vote-buying by a candidate in last Saturday’s legislative elections.
Prosecutors said that 19 of those detained had been released without the need for bail, while two were released on bail of NT$20,000 (US$668) each yesterday.
Tip-offs had been received that campaign staff for an Aboriginal “mountain district” candidate organized two banquets, one last month and another earlier this month, where people who attended the event were asked to vote for the candidate for whom the organizers were working, prosecutors said.
Pending further investigation, including gathering of evidence and questioning of witnesses, some of the 21 people would likely face charges of breaching the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), prosecutors said.
Both banquets took place at the same restaurant in the city’s Sindian District (新店) and the cost was about NT$4,000 for each table, police officers said.
Meanwhile, allegations of candidates disbursing money via their campaign office staff and neighborhood deputies were rife in some districts in Yunlin County, law enforcement officials said.
More than 20 people have been detained for questioning by the Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office in the past week after allegations of vote-buying raised by the campaign teams of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate Chang Chia-chun (張嘉郡) and Democratic Progressive Party legislative candidate Su Chih-feng (蘇治芬).
Election campaign workers filed complaints against each other, with each side producing a video taken using a smartphone allegedly showing a man handing out a bag that purportedly contained cash and campaign pamphlets, prosecutors said.
In an earlier development, the Hsinchu District Court on Tuesday stripped the KMT’s Lo Chih-hsiang (羅吉祥) of the mayorship of the county’s Jhudong Township (竹東) after Lo was convicted of vote-buying in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections.
The decision upheld a first ruling in November last year, which found Lo guilty of disbursing NT$30,000 to 13 borough wardens to buy their votes and secure their support in the elections.
Lo was handed a prison sentence of three years and 10 months, which he appealed.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb