Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Interior ministry says establishing parties is easy

CNA , TAIPEI

It is not difficult to serve as a political party chairman, as the membership threshold for setting up a party is quite low, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday.

Officials made the remarks as a new party, the Taiwan Nationalist Party (TNP), prepared to join the 110 registered political parties today.

Officials said that although there are numerous political parties in the country, most of the public might only be able to name a few of them since less than 10 are represented in the Legislative Yuan.

According to the Civil Societies Organization Law (人民團體組織法), which covers political parties, if a political group wants to recommend candidates for public office, it can register with the appropriate government agency.

The Civil Societies Organization Law takes a hands-off attitude toward regulating parties.

Under the act, as few as 30 people can form a political party. If the party later does not take part in elections, there are no regulations to disband these "bubble" parties.

To promote the institutionalization of party political operations, the ministry mapped out a draft political party law in 2002. It hoped to develop more substantive regulations on political parties, including increasing the minimum number of members to at least 300 and setting limits on what such parties can call themselves.

However, because of controversies over party assets and other issues, the legislature has not yet passed the bill.

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