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Hengyang Bribery Not an Isolated Phenomenon

Every election season, representatives with voting power would sit in hotels waiting for bribes. Hengyang Municipal People's Congress staff would also divulge information about the bribe amounts offered by each candidate, suggesting that they offer more. "They will tell you, this person gave 2 million yuan, this person gave 3 million yuan, and if you want to be elected, you have to give more." People's congress staff have even turned giving and receiving red envelopes into a "professional operation"; there are people specially charged with receiving money and others responsible for making contact.

"Indirect elections have made it so local people's congress delegates are elected primarily by officials rather than voters, which creates an environment for bribery," said Huang Yubiao, a former deputy of the Shaoyang Municipal People's Congress who once bribed in his campaign for the position of provincial people's congress delegate. To choose the right representatives, election transparency should be encouraged so that those who are elected represent the popular will, argued Huang.

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