Would-be presidential candidate indicted for election irregularities - Focus Taiwan

Would-be presidential candidate indicted for election irregularities

Wu Wen-cheng, chief prosecutor at the Kinmen District Prosecutors Office
Wu Wen-cheng, chief prosecutor at the Kinmen District Prosecutors Office

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Huang Jung-chang (黃榮章), who heads a political party that advocates Taiwan's unification with China, was indicted Wednesday for seeking to purchase petition signature forms after registering to take part in the Jan. 11 presidential race.

Wu Wen-cheng (吳文城), chief prosecutor at the Kinmen District Prosecutors Office, told a news conference that a warrant has also been issued for Huang, chief of the China Red Unification Party, established in June, who was confirmed to have fled the country.

Seven another people, including vice party chief Lee Chin-tze (李金澤), were indicted for helping Wang to acquire the petition forms from eligible voters, who also needed to provide copies of their ID cards for verification by government authorities, Wu said.

To become eligible to run, Huang had to pay a NT$1 million (US$32,780) deposit and gather 280,384 valid petition signatures -- 1.5 percent of the electorate -- before Nov. 2 in support of his presidential bid as required by law.

Potential candidates who fail to obtain half the required amount of signatures lose their deposits, according to Central Election Commission rules.

Wu said that prosecutors, acting on a local news report, discovered Huang and his assistants trying to purchase the forms from students on Dcard, a social media platform. Prosecutors and police also seized 3,365 forms in separate raids.

Although Huang has fled, Lee and the other suspects were called in for questioning by prosecutors since late September and later released on bail.

(By Flor Wang and Huang Huiu-min)

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