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Court annuls election of KMT lawmaker for buying votes

Court annuls election of KMT lawmaker for buying votes

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chang Sho-wen from Yunlin County will lose his seat in the Legislative Yuan after a local court invalidated his legislative election victory in 2008.
The Tainan Branch of the Taiwan High Court upheld a lower court's decision that Chang's victory was not fair and valid. Chang had claimed that he was unaware of his father's scheme to buy votes for him in the election, but the High Court found that the lawmaker's argument was not believable.
The ruling is final, and a by-election has to be held in the Yunlin County district within three months according to the law.
The court's decision will not affect the ruling KMT's grip of the Legislature because of the absolute majority it enjoys.
Chang won a regional legislative seat in Yunlin County's second district in January 2008, but his defeated opponent, Liu Chien-kuo of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) , accused Chang of vote-buying and filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate his election.
The Yunlin District Court granted Liu's request Nov. 28, 2008 on the ground that Chang Sho-wen was believed to be aware of and have taken part in a well-planned and well-organized vote-buying scheme masterminded by his father Chang Hui-yuan, president of an influential local irrigation association.
Chang Hui-yuan had already been sentenced to five years and eight months in jail in a separate case for colluding with the irrigation association's staff members and grassroots borough chiefs in the county to canvas support for his son by offering cash to voters.
The senior Chang denied the charges and has appealed his sentence.
Liu Chien-kuo who initiated the suit against Chang Shou-wen said Tuesday that he will definitely compete in the by-election.
Chang Sho-wen is the second incumbent lawmaker who had his election annulled by the court for vote-buying.
Lee Yi-ting, also a KMT lawmaker, from Miaoli County was stripped of his seat in the Legislature after his appeal against a lower court's decision to invalidate his election was rejected on Dec. 10, 2008.
An independent candidate was elected to replace him in a by-election in March this year.
(By Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2020-12-05 14:07 GMT+08:00