The Control Yuan yesterday made public the final balance of political donations received by all the candidates in the presidential election on Jan. 14.
According to the report, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) received NT$446 million (US$14.8 million) in donations, against NT$756 million for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her running mate, Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), and NT$32.3 million for People First Party (PFP) candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his running mate, Lin Ruey-shiung (林瑞雄).
Ma and Wu received 11,907 donations from individuals, for a total of NT$93.4 million, NT$107 million from corporations and businesses, NT$236 million from the party itself, NT$800,000 from civic organizations and NT$8.7 million from anonymous donors.
The Ma-Wu ticket spent NT$444 million on events, gatherings and personnel expenses, with the lion’s share of expenditures going toward promotion and advertisement, the Control Yuan said.
According to the report, the KMT final balance stood at NT$2.2 million.
The DPP candidates, due in part to the successful “Three Little Pigs” fundraising campaign, received 131,177 donations from individuals for a total of NT$550 million, NT$106 million from anonymous donors, NT$70.2 million from businesses, NT$26.6 million from the party and NT$2.7 million from civic organizations, the report said.
The DPP launched the campaign after the Control Yuan said in October last year that it would launch an investigation into the party’s acceptance of three piggy banks donated by children on Oct. 9 because the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) stipulates that only those eligible to vote are allowed to make political donations.
Although the DPP returned the piggy banks to the children, the incident sparked a piggy-bank craze among Tsai supporters, who put their donations in piggy banks.
The DPP candidates spent NT$709 million on the presidential election campaign, with the lion’s share of expenditures also going toward promotion and advertisements, which cost NT$359 million.
The second-highest expenditure for the DPP was for election-related gatherings, at NT$154 million, the report said.
The DPP’s final balance stood at NT$46 million, the report said.
While both the KMT and the DPP had leftover funds, the PFP, which received NT$32.3 million but spent NT$76.7 million on the campaign, ended with a deficit of about NT$44 million.
Reacting to the report, Tsai said in a press release yesterday that she had declared all political donations to her campaign honestly.
Tsai said 86.9 percent of her campaign funds came from supporters.
“As to why the donation raised by Ma’s campaign was far less than expected, but Ma was still able to place a huge amount of advertisements on various media platforms during the campaign, we will leave that to social scrutiny,” Tsai said.
“Let us not go into the question of whether the president had submitted the declaration truthfully — half of his campaign funds came from the assets of the KMT,” she said.
To some extent, Tsai said, the number highlighted the KMT’s illegally solicited party assets as the root cause of unfair competition between political parties in Taiwan and Ma’s violation of his own pledge in 2007 to put an end to the KMT’s ill-gotten party assets.