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No plans to alter legal limit to regulation on vote-buying: MOJ

No plans to alter legal limit to regulation on vote-buying: MOJ

No plans to alter legal limit: MOJ

The legal limit to the regulation on vote-buying was a rule initially carved up by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Justice Hsieh Jung-sheng pointed out Monday.

According to the ministry, the regulation which stipulates that the distribution of gifts worth more than NT$30 during an election campaign constitutes vote-buying.

“We shall respect the decision made by the prosecutors’ office if there are any changes to the legal limit in future,” Hsieh told the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee during an interpellation at the legislature in the morning.

Legislators questioned the verdict handed out by the Keelung District Prosecutors’ Office in which community leader Huang Mao-jun was ruled not-guilty for giving away NT$120-worth gifts to voters during the port city’s county election campaign in October last year.

Hsieh responded that the NT$30 legal limit is used as reference only, and that the legal proceedings depend on evidences provided by district prosecutors.

While NT$30 has been set as the threshold for over a decade, the committee also questioned whether the legal limit imposed on vote-buying should be reviewed as the cost of living and product inflation have risen exponentially in recent years.

The deputy secretary however told legislators that the decision to increase the threshold will mainly reside by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office, and not the justice ministry.

The high prosecutors’ office picked that limit more than 20 years ago to let candidates stamp their names on small souvenir-like stuff such as pens, chopsticks and sacks of tissue paper.

Updated : 2021-09-21 13:55 GMT+08:00