Over 500 lawmakers disqualified for fraud in China

Beijing, Dec 28: More than 500 lawmakers in China’s Hunan province were Saturday disqualified on charges of electoral fraud.

As many as 527 municipal lawmakers were present at an election for provincial lawmakers of the 14th Hengyang municipal people’s congress, the legislative body in Hunan, between Dec 28, 2012 to Jan 3, 2013, reported Xinhua.

Preliminary investigation showed that 56 lawmakers elected to the provincial legislature offered bribes to 518 municipal lawmakers and another 68 staff members.

The total amount of money involved exceeded 110 million yuan (around $18 million), said a statement from the people’s congress.

The provincial legislature disqualified the 56 lawmakers during a meeting Saturday, while county-level legislative bodies in Hengyang city accepted the resignations of 512 who took bribes.

Six municipal lawmakers who took bribes have already been transferred outside of the city and are no longer in their posts.

Another five provincial lawmakers who didn’t offer bribes were nonetheless dismissed for “serious dereliction of duty”, the statement said.

Three municipal lawmakers who didn’t accept bribes resigned, for “serious dereliction of duty”.

The fraud, involving such a huge number of lawmakers and a large amount of money, was serious in nature, the statement said.

Those involved must be subject to strict scrutiny and harsh punishment in line with the law and party discipline, it said.

IANS