Fudan University Chief Fired over Liaoning Election-Rigging Scandal
(Beijing) — A top Communist Party official who headed prestigious Fudan University was removed from his position in early September after anti-graft investigators found he was linked to a vote-buying scandal in Liaoning province, Caixin has learned.
Wei Xiaopeng, secretary of the Shanghai university's party committee, was removed from his position after investigators found that he and over 500 lawmakers from the northeastern province had paid "enormous amounts of money" to peers to get elected to the provincial and national legislature in 2013.
As head of Fudan University's party committee, Wei had the power to overrule the university president and administration.
China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), expelled 45 lawmakers — or nearly half the number elected from Liaoning— last week over bribery and election fraud.
Wei was appointed as party secretary of Fudan, rated one of the top three universities in the country, in March. He had spent much of his career in Liaoning and previously served as party secretary at Dalian University of Technology.
A vice minister of education, Zhu Zhiwen, had announced the decision to sack Wei at a university party committee meeting two weeks ago, a person close to the Fudan administration said. The dismissal was linked to Wei's alleged involvement in the vote-buying scheme, he added.
Wei has resigned from the Liaoning provincial legislature, Liaoning Daily, a state-run regional newspaper, reported on Sunday. Wei was among 452 provincial legislators — out of 619 members — to resign after the scandal came to light in late August. It is unclear when he resigned.
Liaoning Deputy Governor Gang Rui has also stepped down from the provincial legislature, Liaoning Daily said. Jiang was last seen in public when he came with a local art troupe to Beijing on Aug. 28, the newspaper said. According to the provincial government's website, he is still deputy governor.
China's national and provincial lawmakers are chosen through a multitier voting system, with members within the legislative bodies electing candidates mostly nominated by the party.
A temporary panel has been appointed to oversee the operations of the provincial congress in Liaoning until the next round of elections in 2018, the NPC said.
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