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Apple Daily: Council speakers and gangsters

Apple Daily: Council speakers and gangsters

Elections for local council speakers were held across Taiwan Monday, which investigation authorities have been informed were marred by interference by gangsters. There are rumors that in some localities, councilors were forced to take sides at gunpoint. This is the so-called traditional money politics, evidence of a remnant of the past century that still haunts modern Taiwan.
Mayors and magistrates are the most powerful local government figures. They administer their localities and have access to huge allocations of resources. The second "big brother" in a locality is the council speaker, who is entitled to share power and the right to allocate resources with the local government head. It would be very easy for them to profiteer in just a single term if the two associate with each other.
It is not easy to manipulate the election of a city mayor or county magistrate, as they must be elected by public vote. However, it is not difficult to arrange for someone to be put into a council speaker post by intimidation or promising private gain to several councilors.
Unlike in Taipei City, where public scrutiny is strong, booty- sharing in many cities and counties goes on without being noticed by the public. Some local government heads are in control of the vote for council speakers and are able to put their favorites into the post.
In some localities, it is very difficult to demand that local government chiefs and council speakers disassociate themselves from the criminal underworld because they are already "in the same boat." Just as they can fix professional baseball games, gangsters can also rig construction projects in many cities and counties. How many of them have been arrested? (By March 2, 2010) (By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2021-06-17 17:25 GMT+08:00