Fri, Aug 04, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Group urges transparency in managing party assets

CNA , TAIPEI

A civic group called on the Ministry of the Interior yesterday to set rules that would force political parties to manage their assets in a more transparent manner.

The National League for Monitoring the Reform of Party Assets made the call for the sake of reforming the nation's party politics so that integrity would not be a mere slogan.

Yang Wei-che (楊維哲), convener of the league, said the ministry should set the rules in accordance with the law relating to civic groups and then enforce them, since the "political parties law" has not been passed by the Legislative Yuan.

Before the political parties law can be enacted, the ministry should set clear rules on party assets in accordance with Article 66 of the Civic Organization Law (人民團體法), he said.

Chang Ching-yuan (張景源), a lawyer who attended the league's press conference urging the government to set rules on party assets, said it was not strange that companies are set up for the purpose of making profits consistent with corporate law.

"It would be terrifying for political parties to own political power and then use that power to make profit," Chang said.

The Ministry of the Interior should "administer according to the law" and demand that political parties publicize their assets management and financial reports regularly to stop illegal profit making, he said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kao Chien-chih (高建智) said it was entirely reasonable to demand transparency for political parties in regard to management of party assets.

"The law is applicable to all political parties and is not aimed at any specific party," Kao said.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which ruled the nation for more than five decades, is accused of illegally obtaining a large number of state assets that other parties say should be returned.

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