Tainan authorities have launched an investigation into vote-buying allegations involving a legislative candidate from the Taiwan People’s Communist Party (TPCP).
The party is accused of receiving money from China to buy votes in Taiwan.
Prosecutors coordinating with police and Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau officials raided four locations in the city on Monday, including the candidate’s and the party’s offices.
They also summoned for questioning 45 people who took part in a junket to China early last month. Prosecutors summoned more people yesterday, increasing the number of people questioned to more than 60.
Tainan Deputy Chief Prosecutor Lin Chung-pin (林仲斌) said suspects would be charged with contravening the National Security Act (國家安全法) and provisions of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).
Regarded as a fringe political party based in Tainan’s Sinying District (新營), the TPCP was founded in 2016 by Lin Te-wang (林德旺), a Taiwanese who had operated a business in China. Lin had been a high-ranking member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Lin, the TPCP chairman, is suspected of channeling money from China, arranging junkets for Tainan residents and funding a candidate running on a pro-China platform in Saturday next week’s elections, contesting a legislative seat in Tainan’s first electoral district, Lin Chung-pin said.
The prosecutors had conducted a preliminary investigation based on tip-offs, and found that Lin Te-wang had conduits to transfer money from China, allegedly to buy votes.
He allegedly took some Tainan residents to Jiangsu Province, China, and the participants were asked to vote for the party’s candidate in exchange for the trip, the prosecutors said.
“The trips were affiliated with TPCP and its connections in China. Four such trips were made since August [last year], whose participants varied from 20 to 40 people... Investigations showed that overall about 100 people participated in the eight-day group tour,” Lin Chung-pin said.
Lin Te-wang also took part in the trips, and the participants were treated to banquets and gifts by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office officials and other Chinese government figures as they toured several cities in the province, investigators said.
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