Fraud raises demand on lawmakers
Global Times | 2013-12-30 0:13:01
By Global Times
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A grave electoral fraud scandal struck a heavy blow to Hengyang, Hunan Province recently. 56 disgraced deputies to the provincial People's Congress were disqualified, and 512 municipal deputies also stood down due to taking bribes. When the news was released on Saturday, Hunan's provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection soon opened an investigation to 431 CPC members and public servants who are related to this case. A series of shocks were triggered nationwide.

The first shock is that, of the 529 municipal deputies, 512 were disgraced, some others also committed gross neglect of duty. Collective corruption nearly resulted in an overturn of all municipal deputies. Among the 93 candidates for provincial deputy, 56 canvassed by offering bribes. It was also reported that 110 million yuan ($18.12 million) was involved in the fraud. The numbers tell the gravity of this case.

The second shock is that the central authorities had the guts to expose the scandal, and swept over the entire municipal People's Congress without regard to the negative influence on the image of the authorities. As of now, zero tolerance has been employed to crack down upon all sorts of corruption.

The third shock is that bribery has become rampant. In fact, electoral bribery has already turned into an open secret in some Chinese villages. This scandal can tell us that many deputies, no matter what their level, could probably have nothing to fear when taking and offering bribes.

China's anti-corruption campaign is blooming. It doesn't only fight officials' corruption, but also tries to get rid of the hidden rules, malicious behaviors and attitudes which are related with power. They have laid the foundation of corruption. The battlefield to curb corruption is everywhere.

The development of Chinese democracy needs to be realized through a better improved People's Congress system. But if corruption tainted the system, making the role of deputy "bought" instead of "elected," the interests of the majority of people would be jeopardized.

This crackdown on Hengyang's electoral fraud surely bears more significance in China's anti-corruption efforts. People's Congress at all levels will have a much "cleaner" image, which can inspire them to assume their responsibilities more bravely.

Besides fighting corruption, China should give more focus on how to curb neglect of duty, which is more commonly seen in Chinese society. China's anti-corruption campaign should serve as an effective process that would promote its modern governance and the modernization of the society as a whole. China tolerates no corruption, neither can it allow officials to be slackers.

The exposure of Hengyang's electoral scandal is a great success and also an unprecedented opportunity for Chinese People's Congress at all levels to take on an entirely new outlook. They will outweigh what they used to be, playing a more significant role in legislation and government supervision.

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