The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that it would request a constitutional interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices to safeguard the party’s interests, but vowed to honor its pledge to donate all party assets to charity, regardless of the results of the interpretation.
Accompanied by party cadres, KMT Vice Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) yesterday morning held a news conference in Taipei regarding the KMT’s next moves following the passage by the legislature of 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) on Monday night.
“We will file for a constitutional interpretation and do everything in our power to meet the requirements for such an application, since it is, after all, a legal and constitutional process,” Chan said.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
Chan said that while a request for a constitutional interpretation is the KMT’s preferred option, the party does not rule out resorting to other legal and constitutional measures that conform to the principles of democracy and rule of law to defend its rights and interests, such as filing an administrative appeal.
However, as the act has already cleared the legislative floor, the KMT will approach it with an “ordinary state of mind” and follow all due procedures, including truthfully declaring the party’s assets, Chan said, adding that “there will be no tricks.”
Saying that the KMT’s assets are more of a political issue than a legal one, Chan said some parts of the act deserve reconsideration, but the party would nevertheless fulfill a pledge made by KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) on July 14.
“Hung promised at the time that, except for legally acquired office space and funds to cover personnel costs, she plans to donate everything,” Chan said.
“The reason for such a decision is that we feel our assets have been a cause of social and political division. We would forever be mired unless we get rid of this baggage,” he added.
Dismissing speculation that the constitutional interpretation request is an attempt by the KMT to preserve its assets, Chan said the party would still donate its assets, even if the interpretation is in its favor.
“We simply do not want to be stigmatized by people using illegitimate approaches and pretexts,” Chan said.
He added that the KMT would part ways with the past and face the public with a new appearance, mindset and style.
According to Paragraph 3, Article 5 of the Law of Interpretation Procedures For Grand Justices (司法院大法官審理案件法), lawmakers planning to file a request for a constitutional interpretation are required to gather the support of at least one-third of all 113 legislators.
That means that the KMT caucus, which only holds 35 seats in the Legislative Yuan, will have to team up with other parties to meet the statutory threshold.
In response to reporters’ questions on whether the party intends to ally itself with the People First Party, a spin-off of the KMT, on the matter, Chan did not respond directly, saying that he is well aware of the KMT’s predicaments and it would do its utmost to make the application possible.
“Success lies in our effort,” Chan said.
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