Chinese official sentenced to 5 years in largest poll fraud
Beijing: A former secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) was today sentenced to five years in prison for dereliction of duty in one of the largest election frauds in the country, involving a bribery of more than USD 18 million.
Tong Mingqian was convicted of failing to investigate and stop a large-scale election fraud while serving as the leading official of Hengyang City in Hunan, the Beijing Second Intermediate People`s Court said in its verdict.
He was implicated in the fraud involving more than 500 lawmakers between December 28, 2012 and January 3, 2013.
Then secretary of the CPC Hengyang City Committee, Tong was responsible for organising the election for the city`s deputies to the provincial people`s congress.
During the election, some candidates offered bribes to buy votes but he took no measures to stop the illegal practices, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Tong also failed to organise an investigation into the fraud after the election as he was required to do by law, the court said.
He was promoted to vice chairman of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, when the scandal was exposed.
The fraud is one of the largest in terms of people and money involved.
Investigations showed 56 candidates from Hengyang bribed 518 lawmakers and 68 staffers for the election of deputies to the Hunan provincial people`s congress.
The amount of money involved in the bribery exceeded 110 million yuan (USD 18 million).
Tong was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office in January.
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