The nine-in-one elections are over, but investigations continue into cases of vote buying. The Miaoli District Prosecutors Office indicted three people for violations of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act on Dec. 14.
During the nine-in-one elections, independent candidate Chung Tung-chin emerged victorious in the Miaoli County magisterial race. Since then, prosecutors have been investigating allegations of vote buying. They identified a man surnamed Chen who served as the chairperson for the campaign headquarters of Chung and Dahu Township chief. He and politically influential figures are suspected of buying votes. Prosecutors indicted the three for violations of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act on Dec. 14.
Chang Sheng-chuan, Head Prosecutor, Miaoli District Prosecutors Office: “We are prosecuting a man surnamed Chen and two others (for violations of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act). Chen has already confessed (to criminal behavior).”
The Miaoli District Prosecutors Office said the three suspects began exchanging cash for votes in November in the Miaoli County magisterial election, as well as the Dahu Township mayoral and village chief elections. Prosecutors said Chen and a suspect surnamed Chiu have been detained. Bail was set at NT$50,000 for the other suspect surnamed Lin. An aide to Chung said vote buying is an individual activity.
Hsu Ting-tsung, Former Chung Tung-chin Campaign HQ CEO: “Vote buying is a purely individual activity. We were implicated because he happened to be a member of our election team, and we're innocent. We hope the results of the judicial investigation will make the truth known.”
The former CEO of Chung's campaign headquarters said Chung expressed his commitment to a clean election before the race started and asked those candidates who supported him and their campaign teams to not buy votes. Prosecutors emphasized the concept of judicial neutrality and said no one was targeted. There is no criminal responsibility of candidates in the case being prosecuted and it's also unrelated to civil invalidations of elections and therefore should not be confused.