China Congress Candidate Bribed Voters in Election, Xinhua Says

A candidate for a provincial legislature in southern China’s Hunan province said he gave out about 320,000 yuan ($51,435) in bribes to voters in a failed bid to win a seat, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Huang Yubiao, 64, a businessman, said in an online posting that he had handed out about 320 envelopes containing 1,000 yuan each to voters, saying he was encouraged to do so by an official in the city of Shaoyang, Xinhua reported. Huang said other candidates for the legislature won by giving bribes, according to the Xinhua report.

Hunan province set up a team to probe Huang’s claims, Xinhua said. Huang is chairman of a private building material company in neighboring Guangdong province, it reported.

China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, as well as the provincial People’s Congresses, have attracted some of China’s richest people, who can use the venues to forge business ties. The wealthiest 70 members of China’s National People’s Congress had a net worth of 565.8 billion yuan in 2011, more than 10 times the wealth of all members of the U.S. Congress, the president and his Cabinet, and the Supreme Court, Bloomberg News reported last February.

— With assistance by Michael Forsythe

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