The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday questioned five individuals who participated in a campaign rally on Oct. 12 for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) as the prosecutors probed into allegations of attendees getting paid at the event.
A number of attendees, including members of the Chinese Production Party (CPP), allegedly received NT$1,000 or the equivalent value in consumer product gifts each.
The CPP is headed by chairperson Lu Yueh-hsiang (盧月香); most of its members originally come from China, but are now settled in Taiwan due to marriage and therefore are eligible to vote having acquired Republic of China citizenship.
Under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), candidates can hand out gifts worth a maximum of NT$30 per person during their campaigning. Anything over that value is considered vote-buying, and thus in violation of the act.
Prosecutors said the Chinese spouses were led by Lu to organize a “New Immigrant Alliance in Support of Sean Lien” for the Oct. 12 rally.
Lien stayed at at the event for about 25 minutes, where he delivered a speech urging pan-blue camp supporters to mobilize, and presented certificates to Lu and her party members, according to information gathered by the prosecutors.
After the questioning yesterday, prosecutors said the investigation is scheduled to continue as more witnesses are to be called, to verify information.
Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) earlier this week said there have been several instances of suspected vote-buying and election irregularities involving campaign events attended by Lien and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
“Ma and Lien were together at some of these campaign rallies. They were either accomplices to these violations of the law, or they were witnesses to these transgressions,” Huang said.
“We urge Ma and Lien to respect the rule of law, so they should voluntarily submit to judicial questioning and assist prosecutors to clarify the details of these cases,” he added.
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