China’s top legislature has expelled 45 lawmakers, or nearly half the number elected from Liaoning province, over a bribery and vote-buying scandal. The decision — announced at a highly unusual emergency meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Tuesday — comes after a two-year investigation by the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog into election fraud in the northeastern province. China’s national and provincial lawmakers are chosen through a multitiered voting system, with members within the legislative bodies electing candidates mostly nominated by the party. An estimated 523 lawmakers out of the 619 members of Liaoning’s People’s Congress were implicated in the scandal, which involved paying “enormous amount of money” to their peers to get elected in 2013, said sources close to the investigation, which concluded in June.
Those named and shamed by the NPC include 38 of the 62 members on the powerful Standing Committee of the provincial legislature, which runs its daily operations, sources who wish to remain anonymous said. The scandal has crippled the provincial legislature, the sources said.
A temporary panel has been appointed to oversee the operations of the provincial congress in Liaoning until the next round of elections in 2018, the NPC said.
“What has happened to the Standing Committee of Liaoning’s provincial People’s Congress is unheard of in the history of China” since 1949, said Li Jianguo, a vice chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee.
Full Article: China Expels 45 National Lawmakers Amid Vote-Buying Scandal.