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DPP fundraising shortfall attributed to campaign just 'warming up'

2015/09/18 18:21:27

DPP's fund-raising piggy banks. (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) remains well behind its fundraising targets for the 2016 elections, but the party's presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Friday the campaign was just warming up and things would change.

Tsai's campaign office said Thursday that it raised NT$75.66 million (US$2.33 million) from May 26 when the office opened to August 31, only about 10 percent of the estimated NT$600 million to NT$700 million it needs for the presidential election, to be held on Jan. 16, 2016.

Tsai, who has a comfortable lead in the polls over the Kuomintang's Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), said fundraising was slow to date because her campaign was only warming up, but she expected more donations in the middle and later stages of the campaign.

She has said her campaign office is only accepting donations from small- and medium-size enterprises and the general public and will not accept money from conglomerates.

Hung's office questioned why Tsai's office did not include in the figures the revenue from NT$50,000-a-plate dinners Tsai has been holding around Taiwan.

Tsai said the figures announced only went up to Aug. 31, and funds from the private fundraisers would be included in the next account statement released to the public.

Of the NT$75.66 million collected as of Aug. 31, NT$48.96 million came from individual donations, with the rest originating from enterprises, political parties, civic groups and anonymous donors.

A total of NT$27.39 million of that had been spent as of the end of August, with nearly half (NT$13.45 million) going to publicity.

Compared with Tsai, Hung's office has collected more than NT$50 million as of Sept. 17.

(By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)