Over 500 Chinese lawmakers resign for fraud
Over 500 municipal lawmakers in a Chinese province have resigned or have been disqualified or dismissed for electoral fraud, officials say.
According to a statement issued by the Hunan Provincial People’s Congress on Saturday, the 527 municipal lawmakers were present at a provincial election between December 28, 2012 and January 3, 2013.
Based on the investigations, 56 legislators, who were elected to the provincial parliament, offered bribes exceeding 110 million yuan ($18.14 million) to 518 of the municipal lawmakers and another 68 staff, the statement said.
“The fraud, involving such a huge number of lawmakers and a large amount of money, is serious in nature and has a vile impact,” the statement noted, adding, “This is a challenge to China’s system of People’s Congresses, socialist democracy, law and party discipline.”
During a plenary meeting of the provincial legislature on Saturday, 56 of the lawmakers were disqualified. In addition, resignations of the 512 who took bribes were accepted by county-level legislative bodies in Hengyang City, the second largest city of Hunan Province.
According to the statement, another five lawmakers who did not offer bribes were fired for “serious dereliction of duty,” and three others who did not accept bribes resigned for the same reason.
Another six lawmakers who accepted bribes had already been moved outside of the city and were not in their posts anymore.