DPP introduces anti-infiltration bill ahead of elections

11/25/2019 06:36 PM
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Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus members.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus members.

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Monday unveiled a draft bill that it said was designed to complement existing laws on preventing foreign hostile forces from intervening in Taiwan's democratic political system and elections.

"It is the shared duty of the ruling and opposition parties to maintain national security," DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said, calling on the Kuomintang (KMT)-led pan blue alliance to support the bill.

Ker said he hopes the draft Anti-Infiltration Act will be passed before the Legislature goes on recess at the end of December.

The draft bill complements existing law to "further prevent anyone from intervening in the nation's democratic political system or influencing national security, interests, and social order through infiltration sources," the DPP said.

"Infiltration sources" are defined in the draft bill as organizations or institutions affiliated with the government, political parties or other political groups of a foreign hostile force, and individuals dispatched by those entities.

A hostile force is defined as a country or group at war or in a military standoff against Taiwan that upholds the idea of jeopardizing Taiwan's sovereignty by non-peaceful means, according to the bill.

It also prohibits anyone from making political donations, influencing elections, proposing the recall of government officials, or launching a public referendum, at the instruction or with the financial support of an infiltration source.

The maximum penalties for such actions are five years in prison and/or a fine of NT$5 million (US$163,820), according to the draft bill.

It also prohibits lobbying and using illegal means to disrupt social order or jeopardize a public assembly at the instruction or with the financial support of an infiltration source.

The DPP said the draft anti-infiltration bill is meant to replace the controversial "Chinese proxy bill," which is unlikely to be passed in the Legislature before the end of the year.

The new bill also complements laws that govern the election and recall of the president, vice president and other public servants; political donations; and public referendum in terms of infiltration activities, the DPP said.

During a public legislative hearing Thursday, the draft bill will be debated, and it will be put to a second reading in a plenary session on Friday, DPP lawmaker Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said at Monday's press conference.

Commenting on the draft Anti-Infiltration Act, the KMT said it seemed to be nothing but a ploy to "manipulate" the Jan. 11, 2020 presidential and legislative elections.

Last year the DPP caucus put forth five amendment bills on the protection of national security, touting them as "the last pieces in the puzzle," and all the amendments were passed by July 3, KMT caucus whip Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) told reporters.

Shortly after that, however, the DPP introduced the "Chinese proxy bill," and it now wants to pass an anti-infiltration law, he said.

The KMT "strongly suspects that it is political posturing by the DPP some 40 days before the 2020 elections," Tseng said.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)


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