Tue, Jul 25, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Women’s League to be dissolved

OVERSIGHT:The league would be allowed to earmark where its government donation is to be spent, but must also open itself to public scrutiny of its organizations

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The National Women’s League headquarters is pictured yesterday in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District.

Photo: CNA

The National Women’s League will cease to exist as a political organization under a new agreement, Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) announced yesterday, adding that the league has agreed to donate nearly 80 percent of its NT$38.1 billion (US$1.25 billion) worth of assets under government supervision.

“After the transition is complete, there will no longer be a National Women’s League, because what is left will be merged into its Social Welfare Foundation,” Yeh said.

He presented an official document from the league agreeing to transfer NT$6.9 billion in assets to its foundation and NT$31.2 billion to the government, a sharp increase from the league’s proposal in February to donate NT$16 billion to the government.

The league also dropped its demand to donate NT$6 billion to Cheng Hsin Hospital, which was established by league founder Soong Mayling (宋美齡), the wife of then-president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

While the league constructed housing for families of military personnel who retreated to Taiwan following the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) defeat in the Chinese Civil War, it has been dogged by accusations of being a KMT satellite organization that illegally benefited from its close ties to the party.

“Both sides had their positions and calculations, and both sides compromised on the figures,” Yeh said, adding that the passage of time made it impossible to prove which portion of the league’s assets came from the Military Benefit Tax tariff levied on imported goods between 1955 and 1989.

The league will be allowed to earmark areas in which the government funds are to be spent, but it must also accept public oversight of its Social Welfare Foundation, Foundation for the Hearing Impaired and Hua Hsing Children’s Home, Yeh said.

While there is substantial board membership overlap, the organizations are legally separate from the league, which is registered as a “political organization,” Civil Affairs Department Director Lin Ching-chi (林清淇) said.

“These groups will no longer be sealed off from public oversight or continue to exist as clubs for KMT officials’ wives,” he said, adding that the government would appoint one-third of the organizations’ boards of directors, with an additional third of director appointments subject to government veto.

“There is no longer any need to remove the league’s head” based on the agreement, he said, adding that chairperson elections for the boards would be held following their reorganizations.

The Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee participated in the ministry’s meetings with the league and has agreed to the settlement, Lin said, adding that while the deal must be formally approved by the league membership, the ministry hopes to fully implement the terms within three months.

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