Sun, May 16, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Parties, individuals line up to facilitate donations

CNA , TAIPEI

Six political parties and 103 individuals who want to take part in the year-end legislative elections have opened special accounts to accept political donations, in line with the Political Donations Law (政治獻金法), which was passed in March.

The Democratic Progressive Party has registered, as have the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) , the People First Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the New Party and the Taiwan Independence Party.

Meanwhile, 103 prospective legislative candidates from various parties -- notably DPP Legislators Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) and Julian Kuo (郭正亮) and KMT Legislator John Chang (章孝嚴) -- have also registered with the Control Yuan, the nation's highest watchdog body.

According to the law, political parties, groups or individuals can only accept political donations after receiving prior approval from the Control Yuan, and any approved donations must be paid into post office accounts or special accounts at financial institutions.

The practice of allowing politicians and parties to receive political donations through foundations or supporter groups is now prohibited, with violators subject to jail terms of up to three years and/or fines of between NT$200,000 (US$5,970) and NT$1 million.

The law also stipulates that political parties, groups or individuals accepting political donations from people, groups or institutions overseas, including those in China, Hong Kong and Macau, will face up to five years in prison.

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