The communist regime in China on Tuesday (13 September) confirmed that it removed 45 lawmakers of the Liaoning provincial legislature over involvement in a vote-buying fraud and bribery scandal in the 2013 election. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress took the decision following an extraordinary session held the same day.

The 45 lawmakers were elected from the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress, state-run news agency Xinhua reported. The standing committee that voted for their removal also voted to adopt a resolution to form a preparatory panel, which will take over the duties of the legislature, which remains inoperable after a large part of the members were unseated.

Following the extraordinary session, 38 of the 62 members of the provincial legislature were disqualified over the election fraud. So far, a total of 523 lawmakers of the Liaoning Provincial People's Congress have been implicated in the fraud, most of whom have resigned and some have had their qualification as deputies terminated.

The standing committee agreed during the meeting that a new institutional arrangement in accordance with the constitution and relevant laws is now "necessary and feasible" to smoothly run the province.

Xinhua quoted Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee, as saying that the graft case that emerged in the Liaoning elections was the first of its kind to take place at the provincial level since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. He added that the case seriously violated the party's discipline, state laws and rules.

Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee, said the preparatory panel will be responsible for making the disqualification of the 45 lawmakers official and will also make it public. The panel will convene the seventh session of the 12th Liaoning Provincial People's Congress.