PFP loses legislator

PFP legislator Lin Zhenger 林正二 was convicted of vote-buying last week, and he will lose his seat in the legislature.  Lin is the only PFP legislator, so the PFP caucus will be reduced to zero.

The criminal case against Lin was dismissed.  However, the civil case ended in a conviction.

No by-election will be held.  Lin represents Plains Aborigines and was elected in a three-seat district.  By-elections are only necessary if at least half the seats in a district are vacant and at least half the term remains.  Neither of these conditions applies, so the seat will simply remain vacant until the next general election in a year and a half.

Here’s the fun part: we’ve been here before.  In 1994, Lin was elected to the Provincial Assembly.  He was convicted of vote-buying and stripped of his seat in mid-1995.  However, according to the law at the time, he was not stripped of political rights.  Lin’s response was to accept the court decision and run in the by-election.  Of course, he won the by-election and served out his term.  In 1998, when the Provincial Assembly was abolished, he moved to the legislature and has been elected four times.  (The law has since been changed, and Lin will not be eligible to run for the legislature in the next election.)

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