Chinese senior official fired, expelled from party for negligence in vote-buying scandal

The Chinese Communist Party's internal anti-graft arm says a senior provincial official has been fired from public office and expelled from the party for negligence in a massive vote-buying scandal.

The party's discipline commission said Thursday that Tong Mingqian failed to take "timely and effective measures" when he was party chief of the central city of Hengyang to address reports of bribery in the city's selection of legislative members.

The scandal in Hengyang city was reported Dec. 28 when the city dismissed most members of its legislature after they were found to have taken millions of dollars in bribes.

Chinese legislative bodies are essentially bodies that rubber-stamp decisions by the party. A seat on such a body is highly coveted because it provides status, networking opportunities and proximity to power.