The legislature yesterday passed legislation to deal with ill-gotten political party assets, which states that all properties obtained by political parties after 1945 — not including party membership fees and political donations — are to be considered illegal and must be returned to the state.
The Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例) was passed after an 11-hour review on the legislative floor in Taipei.
The act states that all assets of a political party will be considered frozen the moment the act is promulgated, with violators facing a jail term of up to five years. Any attempt to avoid, deny or obstruct investigations into party assets could lead to a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.
The legislature also voted to approve a key provision of the act that stipulates that assets obtained since Aug. 15, 1945, would be subject to the law.
The date listed in the provision, which passed 72 to 31, was chosen because it was the day Japan officially announced its surrender to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II, as well as the day the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) took over properties left by the Japanese in Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said.
The legislature held an extraordinary session aimed at pushing through the review of the draft, with several last-minute amendments made.
Earlier in the day, the KMT moved to amend the bill’s name to the “act for oversight and management of assets under political parties (政黨財產監督管理條例),” or KMT Legislator Lai Shih-bao’s (賴士葆) suggestion of the “act on handling the Chinese Nationalist Party’s assets (中國國民黨黨產處理條例).”
Lai said his suggestion was because the draft was primarily aimed at the KMT’s assets, adding that it should be named based on what it is seeking to do.
The DPP moved to amend the name of the draft from the “act on handling ill-gotten party assets” (不當黨產處理條例草案) to the approved version to include assets held by the KMT’s affiliate organizations, such as the China Youth Corps and the National Women’s League of the Republic of China, as the funding of these organizations has always been included in the party’s fiscal budget.
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was glad to hear the news that the act had been passed and wished to commend the entire Legislative Yuan for its hard work in preparing and passing the legislation for the benefit of nation.