Dozens investigated in election bribes scandal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2001, 12:00am

Graft-busters are investigating an election scandal in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, involving dozens of officials and members of the local People's Congress, officials confirmed yesterday.

The scandal concerns the election last December of new members to the Yuncheng People's Congress.

'The Shanxi Yuncheng election bribery case is now being investigated by the provincial disciplinary and inspection committee,' a committee official said.

According to a report by the Beijing Morning Post, congress candidates offered bribes, including cash and gifts, to officials and voters during the election.

A report on the Xinhua Web site said 60 officials of Yuncheng's Hejin county - many of them department heads - had been identified as suspects and were under investigation.

It said at least two department heads of the Yuncheng city Government had been sacked after refusing to co-operate with investigators.

The report said Beijing leaders were alarmed by the scale of the scandal and had told the Central Disciplinary and Inspection Commission to look into the matter.

A special taskforce had been set up and the Shanxi provincial Government was also helping the investigation.

It claimed that a number of the suspects were backed by big companies hoping to influence local affairs.

Private business people were elected to the People's Congress last December, according to the reports.