The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday returned three piggy banks to three-year-old triplets in Greater Tainan after the Control Yuan warned the political donations were in violation of electoral laws.
The three children, guided by their mother and grandfather, “donated” their piggy banks to DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during a rally the party’s presidential candidate held in Greater Tainan on Oct. 9.
Control Yuan officials recently told the accounting department of Tsai’s campaign office by telephone that the agency would launch an investigation into her campaign’s acceptance of donations from children, which is a violation of the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference yesterday.
Photo: Wang Chun-chung, Taipei Times
Individuals under voting age or who cannot vote are legally barred from making political donations.
The DPP’s campaign office has received donations from several teenagers who are not eligible to vote and the party would do its best to return the donations, Lin said.
However, Lin said the Control Yuan had neglected the “human side of elections,” adding that the agency had become a “hired thug” of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign.
The DPP has filed complaints with the Control Yuan over several violations of administrative neutrality, including alleged illegal campaigning by Council of Agricultural Affairs Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) and Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), Lin said.
Tseng suggested that a DPP candidate was involved in vote-buying, but the complaints were all dismissed, Lin said.
“Those cases are the ones the Control Yuan should be working on,” he said.
Lin returned the donations to the family in Greater Tainan yesterday afternoon on behalf of Tsai.
The triplets’ grandfather, who is reportedly an avid supporter of Tsai, was quoted as saying that the children wanted to make the donation and that they had donated NT$30,000 to Tsai’s campaign.
“I really don’t think [the Control Yuan] should make a big deal out of this,” he said.
In response, Hsieh Sung-chih (謝松枝), director of the Control Yuan’s Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Department, said the agency had simply given the DPP a “friendly reminder” that accepting funds from people without the right to vote was in violation of Article 7 of the act.
The Control Yuan did not really intend to investigate the case, Hsieh said.
“It’s not a problem, as long as the DPP gives it back to the donors within a month,” he said.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan
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