Chiayi councilor given two-year sentence for vote-buying

2019/08/09 22:47:56 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Former Chiayi City Council deputy speaker Kuo Ming-pin (郭明賓) was given a two-year jail term and deprived of his civil rights for seven years for vote-buying by the Chiayi District Court on Friday.

Kuo, an independent, was found guilty of violating the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act by buying votes through vote captains in May and June last year ahead of local government and council elections on Nov. 24.

The court said sums of NT$20,000, NT$60,000 and NT$100,000 (US$3,190) that were to be used to buy votes were confiscated from vote captains -- the people responsible for mobilizing votes, including by buying them.

Seven vote captains were each put on probation for five years after confessing to have bought votes for Kuo, and each was required to pay fines ranging from NT$150,000 to NT$600,000 in compensation for their illegal deeds, the court said.

Kuo, a six-term city councilor since 1989, was not granted probation because he "deliberately" bought 113 votes from 32 households scattered in six wards in eastern Chiayi City, severely eroding public trust toward elected officials, the court said.

According to the ruling, which is not final and can be appealed, Kuo paid NT$1,000 for each vote.

On Jan. 29, Kuo expressed regret about his "unwise" deeds on his Facebook page, and resigned from his position as city councilor.

(By Flor Wang and Chiang Chun-liang)
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