China unseats 45 national lawmakers for fraud: Xinhua

China's parliament voted to disqualify 45 deputies from Liaoning for being involved in electoral fraud.
China's parliament voted to disqualify 45 deputies from Liaoning for being involved in electoral fraud. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - China's Communist-controlled legislature on Tuesday (Sept 13) unseated 45 deputies from the north-eastern province of Liaoning for involvement in electoral fraud, the official Xinhua news agency said, in an "unprecedented" case.

The standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) voted to disqualify the deputies for vote buying and bribery during their election process to the national body from the lower Liaoning Provincial People's Congress in 2013.

Deputies are elected by provincial assemblies to the NPC for five-year terms.

According to an article by scholar Zhao Xiaoli in the Tsinghua China Law Review, 94 of the nearly 3,000 deputies in the current NPC hail from Liaoning - meaning that those unseated represent almost half of the province's total representatives to the rubber-stamp parliament.

The extent of electoral fraud was even greater at the provincial level, Xinhua reported.

A total of 523 deputies to the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress were found to be involved in election fraud and have since resigned or been unseated, it added.

The provincial standing committee can no longer convene or operate, as 38 of its 62 members have been disqualified.

"Unprecedented since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the situation warrants a creative institutional arrangement," Xinhua said.

NPC lawmakers voted Tuesday to set up a preparatory panel to help the Liaoning provincial legislature prepare for its next session and perform some of the stalled standing committee's functions in the interim.