Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Women’s League deal reached

‘ANOTHER WAY’:Assets committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng touted the agreement as a nonconfrontational approach to deal with the KMT’s allegedly ill-gotten assets

By Stacy Hsu and Cheng Hung-ta  /  Staff reporters

From left, National Women’s League chairwoman Joanna Lei, Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong and Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng hold hands at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

The National Women’s League’s months-long negotiations with the Ministry of the Interior and the Executive Yuan’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee finally yielded some results yesterday, with the three parties signing a memorandum of understanding laying down the foundation for a formal administrative contract.

Under the agreement, inked at a news conference at the ministry in Taipei, the league is to donate 90 percent of its total assets, or about NT$34.3 billion (US$1.15 billion), to the state coffers to pay for long-term care services, healthcare for veterans, social welfare, and efforts to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

The league’s remaining assets are to be donated to a subsidiary, the Social Welfare Foundation, after deducting severance payments and administrative expenditures for its pending dissolution.

The agreement also requires four foundations established with the league’s funding, including the Social Welfare Foundation and the National Women’s League Foundation for the Hearing Impaired, to re-elect their boards of directors as soon as possible, with one-third of the seats to be appointed by the government.

Another important element of the document is a requirement that a draft administrative contract be tendered by the three parties, and ratified by the league’s representatives and the four foundations’ boards of directors within a month.

After the signing of the contract, the league must file for its dissolution with the ministry within four months and would no longer face investigations or punitive measures by the ministry or the committee.

“There is more than one way to deal with the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] purportedly illegal assets. We have demonstrated today that there is another way, which is not all about confrontation,” committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng (林?正) said at the news conference.

Lin expressed hope that the agreement would lay the groundwork for the nation’s promotion of transitional justice and create room for cooperation and understanding.

Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) said that although the negotiations might not be perfect from some perspectives, a good example has been set for achieving transitional justice, as the ministry’s proposed handling of the league was adopted in the deal and the rights of the league’s employees were safeguarded.

Yeh was referring to the three principles proposed by the ministry in dealing with the league’s transformation: the need for organizational democratization, the donation of the league’s assets to the government for charitable purposes and opening the organization up to government-led public observation.

The agreement was inked one day after the league’s standing committee, under the leadership of newly elected chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩), voted unanimously to sign an administrative contract based on a three-party agreement reached on July 24, in which the three principles were manifested.

Lei was elected on Sunday to succeed former league chairwoman Cecilia Koo (辜嚴倬雲), who, along with then-league deputy chairwoman Yeh Chin-fong (葉金鳳), were removed by the ministry on Friday last week over their refusal to sign the contract within a given time frame.

The league has been under investigation by the committee over its alleged links with the KMT and its use of the Military Benefit Tax, a tariff levied on the US dollar value of all imported goods from 1955 to 1989 that provided most of the funding for the league’s charity work.

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