Experts call for curbs on power after official murders mistress

08:43, December 14, 2010      

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A senior official in Anhui Province has been arrested for murdering his mistress, prompting academics to call for a better mechanism to limit and supervise officials' power.

The Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday that prosecutors in Xuancheng, Anhui Province, approved the arrest of Zhang Hongbin, 44, deputy mayor of Xuanzhou district, for killing his 26-year-old mistress surnamed Mei by strangling her after they quarreled on Wednesday. Zhang turned himself in to police and confessed to the murder a day later.

The report said Zhang and Mei met in August and began their affair in October. Zhang was sacked from his position Friday. Neither the motive behind the murder nor the subject of the argument that preceded it is known.

Experts said it has become more common for officials to keep mistresses, as they cannot satisfy their greed with material gains. The China Youth Daily reported Friday that all officials in the 102 corruption cases in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai in Guangdong Province have mistresses.

"Normally, no true love exists between officials and their mistresses," Wang Yukai, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times. "They are together because they can get what they need, and when a mistress becomes a threat to the official's future, she will be killed."

Duan Yihe, a member of the Ji'nan People's Congress, Shandong Province, killed his mistress in 2007 by detonating a bomb in her car because she kept asking him for money.

Wang stressed that limiting and governing officials' power was the basic way to prevent corruption.

By Ge Lili, Global Times
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