A Communist Party-run newspaper says a southern Chinese city has dismissed most members of its legislature after they were found to have taken bribes in a massive election fraud.

Hunan Daily, a newspaper run by the Hunan provincial Communist Party committee, said Saturday the scandal implicated 518 lawmakers in Hengyang's 529-member municipal legislature.

The city lawmakers had convened earlier this year to pick 76 delegates to represent Hengyang in the provincial legislative body in accordance with Chinese election law. Hunan Daily said national and provincial authorities started to receive fraud complaints in February and formed a special team to investigate the allegations in April.

It said the provincial legislature dismissed 56 Hengyang delegates who had spent more than $18 million in bribes to gain entry to the higher body.