Sun, Oct 23, 2016 - Page 1 News List

KMT denied grand justice review

TESTING LAWS:The Council of Grand Justices did not indicate if it would issue an interpretation on a rule requiring one-third of lawmakers to endorse a request

Staff writer, with CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday expressed regret that the Council of Grand Justices turned down a request by KMT legislators for a constitutional interpretation on an act targeting the party’s controversial assets.

Last month, 35 KMT legislators requested that the council issue an interpretation on 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), which the KMT considers to be unconstitutional and unlawful.

The request was rejected on the grounds that it was not supported by enough legislators.

The law stipulates that a request for a constitutional interpretation is considered valid only if it is endorsed by one-third of legislators — which means 38 lawmakers, as the legislature has 113 seats.

KMT legislators also requested that the grand justices issue an interpretation on that requirement, but the court has not indicated whether it will accept the request.

KMT Culture and Communications Committee director Chow Chi-wai (周志偉) said that the act has hampered the normal operations of political parties and affected the development of Taiwan’s constitutional democracy.

He urged the grand justices to carefully assess the request for an interpretation on the requirements regarding constitutional interpretations.

The act, which was passed in July and took effect in August, empowers a committee to investigate, retroactively confiscate and return or restore to rightful owners all assets that were improperly obtained by the KMT and affiliated organizations since Aug. 15, 1945 — when Japan officially announced its surrender to the Allies, bringing World War II to an end.

The act assumes that all the KMT’s assets — except for party membership fees, political donations, government subsidies for KMT candidates running for public office and interest generated from these funds — are “ill-gotten” and must be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.

Late last month, the KMT’s main bank account was frozen at the request of the committee, forcing the party to delay paying salaries.

The KMT has criticized the action, saying the committee does not have the right to ask the bank to freeze its accounts.

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