People should be on the alert for election bribery attempts with three days until the nine-in-one elections, the National Police Administration (NPA) said yesterday, adding that any suspected incidents should be reported to the authorities to keep the elections clean.
As of Tuesday, information about 1,333 individuals had been handed to prosecutors regarding alleged election bribery, information on 113 had been passed on regarding election-related violence and 593 for obstruction of electoral affairs, the NPA said.
The three days leading up to election day on Saturday would be the peak for vote-buying attempts and police are monitoring “hot spots” of potential illegal activity, it said.
Separately, the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office ordered that personnel be stationed at police precincts to facilitate processes to combat vote-buying.
As of Tuesday, prosecutors’ offices had received 4,151 reports of election-related illegalities, of which 2,913 involved alleged vote buying, the High Prosecutors’ Office said.
Ninety-eight people had been detained and 62 others were in custody, it said, adding that it had released 85 people on bail and indicted 118.
It has postponed prosecution of 77 people in such cases, it said.
If people witness suspected vote-buying activity, they should report the incident using the hotline for the High Prosecutors’ Office — 0800-024-099, it said.
Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) told lawmakers at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday that his ministry had 3,367 “ta” cases.
A “ta” case is an unofficial categorization used when prosecutors are sure there is criminal activity, but corpus delicti, the principle that a crime must be proved to have occurred before a person can be convicted, cannot be established.
Hopefully the elections would be fair, Tsai said, adding that the Ministry of Justice would strictly observe administrative neutrality.
The prosecutor-general has identified areas where vote-buying is rampant, he said, adding that the ministry has dispatched personnel to police precincts and has asked prosecutors from second appellate courts to assist them.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) asked if the ministry is looking into allegations that former minister of transportation and communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate for New Taipei City mayor, was engaged in vote-buying.
Efforts to eradicate vote-buying should be applied equally, Tseng said.
Tsai said that the New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office is investigating the allegations against Lin and if they warrant charges, the issue would be handled according to the law.
However, the ministry cannot make a ruling based on circumstantial evidence, he said.
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