Taipei prosecutors yesterday indicted seven suspects on suspicion of using money from Chinese agencies to buy votes for Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the run-up to his presidential bid in January.
They allegedly acted on instructions from Huang Daonian (黃道年), director of the Economic Bureau at Changsha City’s Taiwan Affairs Office in China’s Hunan Province intended to mobilize China-based Taiwanese in support of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential and legislative candidates, prosecutors said.
The suspects — Taipei-based Chinese Women’s Federation chairwoman Ho Jianghua (何建華), Chinese Women’s Federation deputy secretary Shen Bin (沈斌), Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Changsha chairman Lin Huai (林懷), Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Changsha deputy chairman Tung Chien-hua (佟建華), China New Family Association chairwoman Chiang Ming-sia (蔣明霞), Hunan Shaoyang City Association in Taiwan director Chang Guo-jun (張國君) and Changsha City-based Taiwanese businessman Chuang Huan-chang (莊桓漳) — were charged with breaching the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法).
A wanted bulletin was issued for Lian Sang-ming (連上銘), another member of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Changsha, who allegedly assisted Huang and Lin in channeling funds into the scheme.
On Huang’s written orders, Chinese officials from Hunan Province and its Changsha City Government organized banquets to fund airfare and accommodation for China-based Taiwanese — businesspeople and students — so that they could return to their home districts to vote in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
Huang formulated the scheme, along with other government officials who dealt with Taiwanese investors and businesspeople, prosecutors said.
Funds were also channeled to Ho — a nominee on the China Unification Promotion Party’s (CUPP) legislator-at-large list for the January election — for her campaign, they added.
On Dec. 3 last year, Huang held a meeting with Lin and others to organize a Dec. 6 banquet for Taiwanese businesspeople and students, they said, adding that the banquets promoted Han and other KMT candidates and gave 1,500 yuan (US$212 at the current exchange rate) to Taiwanese who booked their flight before election day, prosecutors added.
A luxury hotel in Changsha, which hosted the events, gave Huang a reduced room rate for Taiwanese, which prosecutors said they considered to be vote-buying, as the accommodation, airfare and other funds were given with the understanding that recipients would vote for KMT candidates.
The KMT yesterday in a statement said that attendance at the banquets and other events was the participants’ private affair, but that the party opposes any interference in Taiwanese elections on the part of the other side of the Taiwan Strait or other foreign entities.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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