Fri, Aug 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Political party act stalled

DELAYED ONCE AGAIN:The draft act, which deals with regulations on political parties’ finances, was pulled from the Executive Yuan’s agenda without reason

By Chiu Yen-ling and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Executive Yuan was yesterday scheduled to review the draft political party act (政黨法), but before the meeting was to take place, the draft was pulled from the schedule, without the official who was to review the act knowing about it.

Minister Without Portfolio Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪), who was tasked with reviewing the act, said the draft included restrictions barring political parties from investing in property and making money, setting a two-year time limit for parties to transfer ownership or sell off all their assets, as well as various regulations on the conditions of founding political parties.

It is a complete set of regulations concerning political parties, Luo said.

However, Luo said during an investigation yesterday that she did not know why the draft act had been pulled from the schedule, adding that she had also asked a colleague to ask for her, but she had been working the entire day yesterday and had not yet contacted her coworker to ask about the news.

Commenting on suspicions that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or other sources had applied pressure, Luo said that she had not felt any pressure whatsoever when going through the case.

“Even if there was any pressure, I would not be influenced anyway,” Luo said, adding that she was still in the dark as to why the issue had been pulled from the meeting.

Executive Yuan spokesman Hu You-wei (胡幼偉) said afterwards that the draft act had been pulled because some minor details had to be ironed out.

However, Hu had not elaborated in detail what needed to be worked out.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has come under criticism by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) many times for failing to keep the repeated promises to promote the Sunshine Law, which includes the Political Party Act, that he made while he was KMT chairman in 2005.

The Sunshine Law is a law or series of laws based around the assumption that citizens under a democratic government have the right to know how their government has reached decisions concerning public welfare legislation.

The DPP claims since Ma was elected president in 2008, the KMT has used its majority in the legislature to delay the passing of the draft act.

The Ma administration sent back the DPP’s version of the act from the legislature for further review in November 2008 and did not send another draft of the act to the Executive Yuan until May 2010.

Since then, the much-delayed draft act has been stalled in the Executive Yuan for more than two years, and has yet to be seen or reviewed by the Legislative Yuan.

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