The Executive Yuan is reviewing a draft political archives act that would circumvent legal barriers to obtain and publish data in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) possession about political prisoners and victims of the White Terror era, an Executive Yuan official said yesterday.
The Executive Yuan met with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus and reached an agreement to prioritize reviewing the proposal, which was drafted by the National Archives Administration, alongside the DPP’s draft act on promoting transitional justice in the current legislative session, said the official, who requested anonymity.
A statute proposed to expropriate historical data, including those held by the KMT, could be ratified as part of the transitional justice act, the official said, adding that legislative efforts would be focused on passing the transitional justice act while the Executive Yuan works to circumvent legal restrictions to its passage.
As the transitional justice bill — which deals with the actions of the then-KMT government during the 228 Massacre and the White Terror era — is a very sensitive issue, it is expected to spark heated debates between pan-green and pan-blue lawmakers, the official said.
Executive Yuan meetings have heard differing views on the feasibility of expropriating materials from the KMT’s archives, with some saying that the materials must be claimed in accordance with the Constitution to facilitate research into the nation’s history, the official said.
The expropriation should exclude material that is irrelevant to the nation’s history, lest the KMT complains about its private property being infringed upon, the official said.
According to a draft political archives act, individuals or organizations in possession of historical materials dating from 1945 to 1992 should declare them to the National Archives Administration, which would review the items and decide whether they should be made public, the official said.
The draft would also grant the government authority to probe individuals and organizations believed to be holding historical materials and request the documents, the official said.
The draft reportedly requires the KMT to report political files in its possession to the archives administration.
The archives administration has said that people who donate original historical documents would be able to apply for compensation after the materials are assessed.
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