Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators want funds raised by Shih to be frozen

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh yesterday announces that he had received NT$103,263,926 (US$3,150,200) in donations in support of his campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian. DPP legislators yesterday asked the Control Yuan to probe Shih's fundraising campaign and freeze the funds.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FONG, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday asked the Control Yuan to investigate the allegedly illegal fundraising campaign initiated by former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德).

"We are asking the Control Yuan to take immediate action and freeze the cash donated to the fundraising campaign," DPP Legislator Tang Bi-a (唐碧娥) said. "It will be a dereliction of duty if it fails to do so."

The Ministry of the Interior said on Monday that Shih had violated the Political Donations Law (政治獻金法) by accepting cash contributions for his campaign and added that the campaign was "beyond a doubt political in nature," therefore making the contributions political donations.

When asked by the Taipei Times how the lawmakers expected the Control Yuan -- whose operation has been stalled for more than a year because the legislature has not endorsed President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) list of new candidates for Control Yuan members -- to deal with the case, Tang said that the Control Yuan had "investigators" who could take care of the matter.

Tang later yesterday added that she would file a suit today with the Tainan Prosecutors' Office, charging Shih with "illegally soliciting funds."

Hsieh Yu-nan (謝育男), director of the Control Yuan's Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Department, told the Taipei Times that the investigation process was divided into two stages.

While his department would take care of the first stage -- an investigation and drawing up a report -- a review committee composed of Control Yuan members would determine whether the fundraising campaign violates the law.

"Without the Control Yuan members, however, there is no way to determine whether it is legal or illegal," Hsieh said.

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