Law enforcement agencies on Thursday detained 21 people for questioning following raids at four locations in New Taipei City after they received allegations of vote-buying by a candidate in last Saturday’s legislative elections.
Prosecutors said that 19 of those detained had been released without the need for bail, while two were released on bail of NT$20,000 (US$668) each yesterday.
Tip-offs had been received that campaign staff for an Aboriginal “mountain district” candidate organized two banquets, one last month and another earlier this month, where people who attended the event were asked to vote for the candidate for whom the organizers were working, prosecutors said.
Pending further investigation, including gathering of evidence and questioning of witnesses, some of the 21 people would likely face charges of breaching the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), prosecutors said.
Both banquets took place at the same restaurant in the city’s Sindian District (新店) and the cost was about NT$4,000 for each table, police officers said.
Meanwhile, allegations of candidates disbursing money via their campaign office staff and neighborhood deputies were rife in some districts in Yunlin County, law enforcement officials said.
More than 20 people have been detained for questioning by the Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office in the past week after allegations of vote-buying raised by the campaign teams of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate Chang Chia-chun (張嘉郡) and Democratic Progressive Party legislative candidate Su Chih-feng (蘇治芬).
Election campaign workers filed complaints against each other, with each side producing a video taken using a smartphone allegedly showing a man handing out a bag that purportedly contained cash and campaign pamphlets, prosecutors said.
In an earlier development, the Hsinchu District Court on Tuesday stripped the KMT’s Lo Chih-hsiang (羅吉祥) of the mayorship of the county’s Jhudong Township (竹東) after Lo was convicted of vote-buying in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections.
The decision upheld a first ruling in November last year, which found Lo guilty of disbursing NT$30,000 to 13 borough wardens to buy their votes and secure their support in the elections.
Lo was handed a prison sentence of three years and 10 months, which he appealed.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease