7 charged over vote-buying scandal

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-03-04 14:44:50

CHANGSHA - Charges have been filed against seven suspects in an electoral fraud scandal in the Central Chinese city of Hengyang in Hunan Province, local authorities announced on Tuesday.

Zhou Ji, and another six people have been charged with the crimes of dereliction of duty and disrupting the election, according to the People's Procuratorate of Hunan.

The scandal in Hengyang emerged on December 28 when the provincial legislature announced that more than 500 lawmakers in the city had been disqualified, dismissed or had resigned.

An investigation has shown that 56 provincial legislators elected had offered 110 million yuan (18 million U.S. dollars) in bribes to 518 municipal lawmakers and another 68 staff.

The provincial legislature disqualified the 56 lawmakers on December 28, and legislative bodies in Hengyang accepted the resignations of 512 who took bribes during the election of provincial lawmakers between December 28, 2012 and January 3, 2013.

Hu Guochu, former chairman of the Standing Committee of the Hengyang Municipal People's Congress, has already been placed under judicial investigation for his suspected involvement in electoral fraud.

A total of 58 suspects have been charged so far. Further investigation is under way.

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