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China expels former Wukan village heads from Party

Guangzhou, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 ANI

Guangzhou, Apr 23 (Xinhua-ANI): Two former officials from south China's Wukan village were expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) over corruption and election-rigging charges, provincial authorities announced Monday.

Xue Chang, former Party chief of Wukan, and Chen Shunyi, former head of the village committee, were also ordered to hand over illegal gains of 189,200 yuan (30,031 U.S. dollars) and 86,000 yuan respectively, said Zeng Qingrong, deputy head of the supervision department of Guangdong Province.

Wukan grabbed international headlines last year when the small village's residents protested against officials' alleged illegal land grabs, corruption, and violations of financing and election rules. Provincial authorities intervened, and order was restored.

Re-elections were held while the investigation into the villagers' complaints continued.

Zeng said after three months of investigation, authorities found that Wukan's former officials were involved in illegal transfers of land use rights, embezzling collective properties, accepting bribes, and rigging village elections.

Six other former village officials were also punished.

Twelve township and municipal officials who collaborated with the Wukan officials in discipline violations were punished as well, including two who were transferred to judicial authorities for suspected infringement of the laws. More than 1.06 million yuan of illegal gains had been confiscated from the officials involved.

Investigators said as the probe continues, Wu and Chen, the former Wukan top officials, may also be handed over to the judicial authorities. (Xinhua-ANI)

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