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“Ill-gotten Party Assets Bill” Passes, to Become Law upon Promulgation

icon2016/07/26
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 “Ill-gotten Party Assets Bill” Passes, to Become Law upon Promulgation

 

Source: All Taipei Newspapers

July 26, 2016

 

On July 25, the Legislative Yuan passed in the third reading the bill titled “The Statute Governing Ill-gotten Assets of Political Parties and their Affiliated Organizations”

 

The title of the bill was revised from “The Statue Governing Ill-gotten Party Assets” to “The Statute Governing Ill-gotten Assets of Political Parties and their Affiliated Organizations.” The bill becomes law upon promulgation.

 

In the future, the “Committee to Handle Ill-gotten Party Assets” shall be established under the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) to investigate the so-called ill-gotten assets held by a party or its affiliated organizations. Except for campaign subsidies, party membership dues, and political contributions received in accordance with the law, or accrued interest from the above sources, any assets that a party or its affiliated organizations obtained gratis or at a disproportionately low price since August 15, 1945 shall be considered ill-gotten party assets.

 

The statute also stipulates that a party and its affiliated organizations shall be required to declare its assets to the “Committee to Handle Ill-gotten Party Assets” within one year of the promulgation of the legislation by listing where the assets came from and how they were obtained. The committee may also take the initiative to petition to the Cabinet for an investigation and notify the relevant party or organizations to declare their assets within four months of the notification. If any party or organization fails to do so, it shall be fined a minimum of NT$ 1,000,000 (approximately US$ 31,200) and a maximum of NT$ 5,000,000 (US$ 156,600), punishable consecutively. After being fined 5 times, the party’s assets shall be presumed to be ill-gotten party assets.

 

The Statute also stipulates that once party assets have been presumed to be ill-gotten, they shall be frozen and any transfer shall be prohibited. To lift the prohibition, the party must provide counterevidence to the committee, which shall then decide whether the assets are ill-gotten. If the party cannot or does not declare its assets, the assets shall be considered ill-gotten and confiscated. The Statute also stipulates that if the committee takes the initiative to investigate ill-gotten assets, the proceedings of a public hearing shall be required.

 

The “Committee to Handle Ill-gotten Party Assets” shall consist of 11 to 13 members appointed by the Premier. Each party shall have no more than four members on the committee. The committee shall report to the Legislature every six months and make public their investigation results on an official website established for ill-gotten party assets. In the line of duty, the committee may request assistance from the police or other government agencies.

 

KMT Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday opined that July 25 was a day marking the regression of Taiwan’s democracy because the so-called “democratic progressive” DPP resorted to the tyranny of the majority to railroad a unjust bill that contravened the Constitution and the democratic rule of law in an attempt to create a political milieu where “a single party dictates,” manipulating the law for its selfish ends. Hung lamented that this was the sorrow of both Taiwanese people and Taiwan’s democracy. However, Hung stressed that the KMT would not indulge in pessimism or despondence. Instead, in accordance with the due process of the rule of law, it would try to reduce the negative impact of the unjust law. Hung stated that even if the KMT had nothing left, it would strive to prevent the DPP from establishing a dictatorship. It would never allow Taiwan’s hard-won democracy be ruined by the DPP, Hung concluded. 

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