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Tainan KMT campaign official sentenced

Tainan KMT campaign official sentenced

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A top official on Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao’s election campaign was sentenced to five years in prison for vote-buying Friday.
After his surprise election as speaker last December 25, the Kuomintang’s Lee became the target of an investigation linked to vote-buying, while Mayor William Lai refused to attend city council sessions.
The Tainan District Court on Friday sentenced the chief of Lee’s campaign for a seat on the city council, Huang Cheng-ching, to five years in jail. Two other campaign workers, Lee Li-hua and Kang Ching-liang, received suspended sentences of two years and one year respectively.
Earlier in the year, two voters received suspended sentences of two months each.
Because Huang was the only one who did not admit guilt, he did not receive a suspended sentence but a long jail term, reports said.
Friday’s verdict was seen as a heavy blow for the council speaker, who is facing a court case to rule whether his election was invalid or not. The case was brought by prosecutors and by a former city councilor, reports said.
The DPP won a majority of seats on the Tainan City Council in last November’s local elections, so the victory for a KMT candidate like Lee in the December speaker election came as a surprise to many, immediately fueling rumors that vote-buying had been used.
Lee is facing suspicions of illegal practices both in the November election which won him a council seat and in the speaker election.
Mayor Lai’s refusal to appear at the council for questioning has been praised by some as taking a strong stance for democracy against corruption but criticized by others as unconstitutional.

Updated : 2021-09-17 11:45 GMT+08:00