An independent politician running for a seat in Taiwan’s parliament has been detained for alleged vote-buying ahead of polls next week, prosecutors said Saturday.
The candidate was taken into custody on Friday in New Taipei City following a police raid at his campaign office and the homes of some of his key supporters, prosecutors said in a statement.
They did not identify the suspect nor specify how much money was allegedly involved, but local media showed footage of independent candidate Tseng Wen-chen being taken away by police in handcuffs.
At his campaign office on Saturday his mother told reporters: “I believe my son is innocent,” while his wife claimed foul play and vowed that he will “run the election to the very end”. An arrest warrant has been issued for his son.
Taiwanese voters will elect a new president and a new parliament on January 14.
Tseng, a former member of the ruling Kuomintang, quit the party to run as an independent after he failed to secure a nomination.
Vote-buying is believed to be rampant on the island, particularly at local level.