Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT says it is battling to pay its staff’s salaries

By Ben Blanchard  /  Reuters

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Friday said it was struggling to pay staff a month ahead of the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11, due to an asset freeze previously put in place by the government to investigate ill-gotten gains.

“In spite of this, the party center is still trying its best to assist the presidential and legislative candidates with its limited resources,” the party said in a statement.

The KMT said it was having to rely on loans to pay salaries, adding that it had yet to be able to pay December salaries, but that it had succeeded in finding people to support Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), its presidential candidate, on the campaign trail.

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee issued a statement on its Facebook page responding to what it said was “fake information.”

The KMT had income last year of NT$420 million (US$13.77 million) that had not been frozen, it said.

“We only handle ill-gotten party assets. Political parties have always been free to use legal income such as party fees, political contributions and party subsidies,” it said.

Under a law passed in 2016 after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won power, most KMT assets have been frozen pending an investigation by the committee.

The KMT has frequently complained, describing it as a witch hunt by the DPP.

The DPP says the committee was established to right historical wrongs regarding assets the KMT obtained while in power and to level the playing field for all parties.

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