Ex-governor dismissed from Party

Updated: 2011-08-04 07:43

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - A former governor of a Yi autonomous prefecture in Southwest China's Yunnan province was expelled from the Party after he was alleged to have abused drugs, maintained "improper" sexual relations and taken bribes, a local Party authority said on Wednesday.

The Yunnan provincial Party committee's standing committee said in a statement on Wednesday that it had decided the day before to expel Yang Hongwei, former governor of the Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture, after investigations had linked him to bribery, drug abuse and derelictions of duty, as well as the enjoyment of an "indecent life".

Yang, 48, is believed to have accepted cash bribes that included 10 million yuan ($1.55 million), $138,000, HK$30,000, and 30,000 Australian dollars when he was governor of Chuxiong from 2006 to 2011, the statement said.

He was removed from that post in April.

The provincial Party committee also meted out punishments to a former head of the provincial taxation bureau and a former head of the provincial housing bureau, who were both charged with corruption.

From reports, Internet users learned that Yang was the first department-level official found to have abused narcotics, leading them to call him "the prefecture governor doing drugs".

Yang once used narcotics in a meeting in police officials' presence, his colleague, former chairman of the prefecture's political advisory body, Yang Chengbiao, told Kunming Daily.

The drug Yang is alleged to have favored is called "Kaku", a popular narcotic that consists of opium and herbs and looks like shredded tobaccos.

Before Yang's reputation was damaged by his alleged drug abuse, local media had reported that he was well known for his zeal for drinking alcohol and his "immeasurable" drinking capacity.

That propensity was perhaps best illustrated by his alleged response to a break in a drought that had struck his province in 2010. Learning that rain was falling in seven extremely dry counties there, Yang is said to have celebrated by drinking seven mugs of liquor in a row, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.

Yang was also found to have had improper relations with several women - another reason for his dismissal, according to the statement of the provincial Party committee.

The statement said local judicial authorities will further investigate Yang's alleged crimes.

Yang and his subordinates, Lu Linlin, deputy governor of the prefecture, and Ma Guoxiong, secretary-general of the Chuxiong government, were dismissed from their posts on the same day Yang lost the governor's seat.

Before being appointed to that post in 2006, Yang had worked for several years in the local government of Yunnan's Mile county.