25-year-old Shandong town mayor resigns over allegations of nepotism

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 4:43pm

A 25-year-old town mayor in Shandong resigned on Sunday along with her father, the head of a municipal department, after her meteoric rise through the ranks was cut short by allegations of nepotism, Xinhua reported.

But the simultaneous resignations did not conclude the matter as Jining city discipline inspection authority said it would continue to investigate the allegations.

Last week internet users reported that Han Han, chief of Jishu town, attained her position thanks to the influence of her father, Han Dongya, vice-chief of Jining city’s organisation department – a powerful body in the Communist Party responsible for personnel appointments.

The allegations posted online claimed that Han Han used her father’s influence to be promoted from a clerk to town chief within three years. It is very rare to have a town mayor under the age of 30 in China.

A government spokesperson for Jinxiang county confirmed Han Dongya’s position and relationship with the young mayor on Wednesday, but he said the allegations were merely speculation.

A member of staff at the office where Han Dongya worked also dismissed the accusations. “Why can’t the children of cadres be promoted normally as everyone else?” he said.

But Jining city discipline inspection commission officials told The Beijing News that they were still looking into the matter.

This case echoes a similar incident earlier this month where internet users questioned the appointment of 24-year old Wang Peipei as vice-mayor of a town in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. Wang’s firm stance and local government’s clear response to public questions proved her promotion was legitimate.