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46 groups yet to transition to political parties as required by law

2019/11/17 19:53

Taipei, Nov. 17 (CNA) Forty-six political groups, including the National Women's League (NWL), have not yet transitioned into political parties and if they fail to do so by Dec. 7, will be dissolved, in accordance with the law, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said in a statement issued Sunday.

According to the Political Parties Act, which came into effect Dec. 6, 2017, political parties that filed declarations with the relevant departments in accordance with the Civil Associations Act prior to the enactment of the Political Parties Act must revise their charters within two years following the promulgation of the Political Parties Act.

Meanwhile, political groups established in compliance with the Civil Associations Act prior to the enactment of the Political Parties Act are required to revise their charters and transition into political parties, while completing legal person registration by Dec. 7.

Currently, 38 of 291 political parties established under the Civil Associations Act have revised their charters, but only three political groups have done so and transitioned into political parties, with another 46 political groups failing or refusing to do so.

One of these is the NWL, which has suggested the law violates the Republic of China Constitution, and said it will engage in a campaign of civil disobedience in protest.

The NWL voted against transitioning into a political party at a provisional members' meeting on Oct. 16, according to league Chair Joanna Lei (雷倩).

The league is mulling transforming itself into a public welfare foundation, Lei said.

The league is also suing the government over a decision to freeze its assets worth NT$38.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) and impose other penalties due to its alleged affiliation with the opposition Kuomintang.

Since the promulgation of the Political Parties Act, 60 political parties have reported to the MOI that they have disbanded due to the loss of members or lack of funds.

In the act, the term "political parties" refers to political groups consisting of ROC citizens with a common political ideology who safeguard the free, democratic, constitutional order, assist in shaping the political will of the people, and nominate candidates for election to public office.

The main purpose in establishing a political party is to promote political participation by nominating candidates to campaign for election to public office, the MOI said.

According to the Political Parties Act, political parties that fail to convene a representative assembly or party congress for four consecutive years or fail to comply with relevant laws and regulations governing the nomination of candidates to campaign in elections for public office for four consecutive years could be dissolved.

Meanwhile, those fail to complete legal person registration within one year after filing could also face dissolution.

The Act also stipulates that political parties must submit annual property and financial statements to the competent authority before May 31 each year.

The MOI said 60 political parties that failed to file a financial declaration in 2019 have been fined NT$1 million, while 11 parties that inadequately revised or delayed to file their financial statements were fined NT$200,000.

As of Nov. 13, 18 new political parties have been established in accordance with the Political Parties Act, while four other are in the process of applying for political party status, according to MOI statistics.

(By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)Enditem/AW