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2017-12-06
Political Parties Act

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1 This act was formulated in order to establish a fair, competitive environment for political parties and ensure that the organization and operation of political parties comply with the principles of democracy in order to establish a healthy and robust party-based political process.

Article 2 The term “competent authority” in this act refers to the Ministry of the Interior.

Article 3 The term “political parties” in this act refers to political groups consisting of Republic of China 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.

Article 4 Political parties shall select free areas of the Republic of China as the seat of their organizations. Branch offices may be established.

Main offices of political parties shall be located in the organizational seat as prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

Article 5 The organization and operation of political parties shall comply with democratic principles.

Article 6 Political parties shall be subject to the same payment practices for the use of public venues, mass media, and/or other public facilities, and may not receive differential treatment without legitimate reason.

Chapter 2. Establishment of Political Parties

Article 7 Upon the founding of a political party, applicants shall file a declaration, a party charter, a party roster containing the signatures and seals of at least one hundred (100) members of the political party, a roster of the party officers, records of the founding assembly, and records of the party officer selection process to the competent authority within thirty (30) days of said founding assembly. After all documentation has been received, the competent authority shall issue an official seal and a certificate of accreditation.

At least fifty (50) members of the political party shall attend the assembly specified in the preceding paragraph. The competent authority shall be notified of the assembly fifteen (15) days in advance. The competent authority may send personnel to attend the event.

The political party leader must be an ROC resident, be over twenty (20) years of age, have a registered permanent address, and not be subject to any of the following conditions:

1. The person has been found guilty of the crime of insurrection or treason (after the end of the period of mobilization for the suppression of the communist rebellion) with final judgment rendered.

2. The person has committed the crime of corruption, with final judgment rendered.

3. The person has committed and been convicted and sentenced for offenses or the corresponding attempted offenses prescribed in Article 79; Article 80; Article 84, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Article 85, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1; Article 86, Paragraph 1; Article 87, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1; and/or Article 88, Paragraph 1 (Intention to seek profit) of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act.

The person has undertaken affairs prescribed in Article 84, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Article 86, Paragraph 1; Article 87, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1; and/or Article 89, Paragraphs 1, 6, and 7 of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act.

The person has committed and been sentenced for the offenses or the corresponding attempted offenses prescribed in Article 93; Article 94; Article 97, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Article 98, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1; Article 99, Paragraph 1; Article 100, Paragraph 1; Article 101, Paragraphs 1, 6, and 7; Article 102, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1; and/or Article 103 (Intention to seek profit) of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act.

The person has undertaken affairs or the corresponding attempted offenses prescribed in Article 97, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Article 99, Paragraph 1; Article 100, Paragraphs 1 and 2; and/or Article 102, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act.

The person has committed and been sentenced for the crimes prescribed in Article 142 and Article 144 of the Criminal Code.

4. The person has committed any crime prescribed in the Organized Crime Prevention Act, with final judgment rendered.

5. The person has committed a crime other than those prescribed in the four preceding paragraphs and has been convicted of said crime and sentenced to penal servitude for a fixed term while enforcement of the penalty is pending or the penalty has been enforced but has not yet been completed. Persons who have been granted a reprieve or who have been sentenced to penal servitude with a sentence which may be alternatively converted into a fine are excluded from this ruling.

6. The person has been sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or penal servitude for a fixed term of not less than ten (10) years, where final judgment has not been rendered.

7. The person has been sentenced to forced labor, where final judgment has been rendered while enforcement of the penalty is pending, or the penalty has been enforced but has not yet been completed, or the penalty has been completed within the past ten years.

8. The person has been sentenced to other security punishment where judgment has been rendered but not yet executed or not yet completed.

9. The person has declared bankruptcy and has not recovered his/her rights.

10. The person has become subject to an order of the commencement of guardianship or assistantship which has not yet been rescinded.

Should the party leader be subject to any of the preceding conditions, the competent authority shall reject the declaration. If any of the preceding conditions are met after a declaration is filed, the political party shall notify the competent authority within fifteen (15) days and select a new party leader within three (3) months. If such notification is not made, the competent authority shall inform the political party of the deadline for selecting a new party leader.

Article 8 The name or abbreviation of a political party may not be subject to any of the following conditions:

1. It is similar or identical to an already established political party.

2. It is formulated through the mere addition of words to the name or abbreviation of an already established political party.

3. It causes people to mistake the political party for a government agency or for-profit institution.

4. It exhibits discriminatory or hateful characteristics.

Any political party whose name or abbreviation is subject to any of the preceding conditions shall be required to make corrections within a prescribed time period by the competent authority; declarations for political parties failing to make such corrections or remaining subject to any of the preceding conditions after corrections are made will be rejected.

Article 9 After completing the filing process pursuant to Article 7, political parties shall apply for legal person registration to the district court of the jurisdiction in which their main office is located. Political parties shall submit a photocopy of their legal person registration certificate to the competent authority for filing within thirty (30) days after its registration.

Article 10 Political parties shall submit a record of changes to the party charter or party leader to the competent authority for filing within thirty (30) days.

The competent authority shall not record documentation from political parties informing of a change of party leader if such changes meet any of the descriptions prescribed in Article 7, Paragraph 3.

Political parties that have completed legal person registration and whose alterations to charter or changes in party leader have been filed with the competent authority shall submit a record of said changes to the court for filing. Political parties shall submit a photocopy of their updated legal person registration certificates to the competent authority for filing within thirty (30) days.

Chapter 3. Organization and Activities of Political Parties

Article 11 Republic of China citizens have the right to join or quit political parties.

Political parties may not recruit Republic of China citizens under sixteen (16) years of age as members. A political party may not force Republic of China citizens to join or quit said party; however, this provision does not apply to party members who have been expelled from the party due to a disciplinary matter.

Political party members are defined as those listed in the party roster.

Article 12 A political party’s charter shall specify the following:

1. Party name or abbreviation (where applicable)

2. Party emblem (where applicable)

3. Party objectives

4. Location of the party’s main office

5. Party organization and authority

6. Conditions for member admissions, resignations, discipline, dismissals, arbitration, and appeals

7. Rights and obligations of party members.

8. Job titles, number, selection methods, tenures, and dismissals of party leaders and elected personnel

9. Terms and conditions, duration, and manner of proposing and deciding on resolutions for the party’s representative assembly or party congress

10. Party charter-revision procedures

11. Amount of and collection method for political party membership dues.

12. Sources of funding and accounting system employed

13. All other matters prescribed pursuant to relevant laws and regulations

Article 13 Newly established political parties shall submit the application form and electronic files for their party emblem at the time of filing their declaration with the competent authority.

Already established political parties that wish to change their emblems or apply to have their emblems recorded shall submit their charters, the emblem application form, and the electronic files of their emblems to the competent authority for filing.

The filed application form for political party emblems should specify the following information:

1. The name of the political party

2. The date of application

3. The symbolism of the emblem

4. An image of the emblem

5. The date of approval of the emblem by the party’s founding assembly, representative assembly, or party congress

Article 14 The emblem of a political party may not be subject to any of the following conditions:

1. It is similar or identical to the emblem of an already established political party.

2. It diminishes the distinctiveness of the emblem of an already established political party.

3. It exhibits discriminatory or hateful characteristics.

The competent authority shall require political parties whose emblems are subject to any of the preceding conditions to make corrections within a prescribed period of time. Applications of political parties that fail to make such corrections or whose emblems remain subject to any of the preceding conditions after corrections have been made will be rejected.

Article 15 A party congress composed of party members shall act as the supreme organ of authority over any political party. Political parties shall convene an assembly of the party congress at least once every two years.

Representatives to a political party’s party congress may be selected by the party members pursuant to the party charter. The representatives shall subsequently be required to convene an assembly of the party representatives in order to exercise the authority of the party congress.

Article 16 At least one-half (1/2) of a political party’s members (or their representatives) shall attend the party congress or party’s representative assembly; resolutions of the party congress or representative assembly are approved when the number of attendees is at least 1/2 of the total number of members. However, the number of attendees must be at least 2/3 of the total number of members to approve the following resolutions:

1. Resolutions pertaining to the formulation of or revisions to the party charter.

2. Resolutions pertaining to political party mergers or dissolutions.

Article 17 Political parties shall appoint dedicated personnel to handle matters such as interpretation of the party charter and disciplinary actions against, dismissals of, and appeals by party members.

Article 18 Political parties may not establish a party organization in any government agency, government institution, public institution, administrative body, court, military body, or school; they may, however, establish party organizations in people’s representative bodies at all levels.

Chapter 4. Financing of Political Parties

Article 19 The sources of funding and income for political parties shall be as follows:

1. Political party membership dues

2. Political donations accepted in compliance with relevant laws and regulations

3. Political party subsidies

4. Sales from publications and promotional materials created by political parties to publicize their philosophies or engage in promotional activities as well as income generated from the granting or conceding of rights

5. Other income collected in compliance with this Act

6. Interest generated from funds or income described in the preceding five paragraphs

Article 20 The calendar year shall be adopted as the fiscal year of a political party. Accrual basis accounting shall be employed, and account ledgers shall be established to record the party accounts in detail.

All accounting documents, excepting those which must be permanently kept or open account items, should be kept for seven years after the completion of annual closing procedures; all account ledgers, except for those involving open account items, shall be kept for ten years after the completion of annual closing procedures.

Article 21 Political parties should submit their annual property and financial statements to the competent authority before May 31 each year.

The annual property and financial statements shall contain the following documents:

1. Final accounts

2. A Profit and Loss account

3. A balance sheet

4. An inventory of property

The property and financial statements described in Paragraph 1 shall be signed or stamped by the party leader, audited and certified by a certified public accountant commissioned by the political party, and passed by the party’s representative assembly or party congress. If no representative assembly or party congress is held in the current year, this fact shall be noted in the statements and the statements shall be assessed during the party’s representative assembly or party congress held in the following year.

The competent authority shall compile the property and financial statements described in Paragraph 1 within forty-five (45) days after the submission deadline and subsequently publicize the information in government gazettes and newsletters, and online.

The competent authority shall notify political parties that fail to submit property and financial statements pursuant to Paragraphs 1–3 to do so within a prescribed period of time; the competent authority shall notify political parties to revise submitted statements that do not meet requirements. The competent authority may make public declarations in government gazettes, government newsletters, or online regarding political parties that fail to submit statements, make required revisions to statements, or comply with regulations even after revisions are made, if deemed necessary.

Article 22 The competent authority shall allocate a part of its annual budget to subsidize political parties that have attained at least three percent (3%) of the votes in the latest national legislative elections for legislators-at-large and legislators residing overseas.

The subsidy described in the preceding paragraph shall be based on the number of votes attained by the political parties at the most recent national legislative elections for legislators-at-large and legislators residing overseas, where an annual subsidy of NT$50 is offered for every vote attained. The amount of the subsidy granted in any fiscal year shall be calculated by the competent authority, and the subsidy shall be collected by the political party within two months (political parties shall be required to produce a receipt upon collecting the subsidy); the subsidy shall be granted till the tenure of the current session of the members of the Legislative Yuan expires.

The competent authority shall notify political parties that fail to collect the subsidy before the deadline to collect it within three months; political parties that still fail to collect the subsidy before the new deadline shall forfeit the subsidy.

Political parties shall use the subsidy described in Paragraph 2 to defray campaign costs, personnel costs, office expenses, business expenses, policy research costs, and personnel training costs.

Article 23 Political parties may not operate or invest in profit-making businesses or engage in profit-making activities outside of those described in Article 19, Subparagraph 4.

Article 24 Political parties may not purchase real estate except for that to be used for their offices.

Chapter 5. Political Party Punishments, Dissolutions, and Mergers

Article 25 Should doubts or concerns arise regarding a political party’s disciplinary actions, name, abbreviation, or emblem or other related matters such that a review is deemed necessary, the competent authority shall hire just persons to form a committee to handle such matters.

For the aforementioned committee, no more than one-third (1/3) of the members may belong to the same political party, and no less than one third (1/3) of the members may belong to the same gender.

Article 26 The competent authority shall provide relevant evidence for the Judicial Yuan Constitutional Court to render judgment that a political party must dissolve pursuant to Article 5, Paragraph 5 of the Amended Articles of the Constitution of the R.O.C.

Article 27 Records shall be abolished if political parties are subject to any of the following conditions:

1. Failure to convene a representative assembly or party congress for four consecutive years and continued failure to do so even when the competent authority issues a reminder requiring the political party to convene a representative assembly or party congress before a prescribed deadline

2. Failure to comply with relevant laws and regulations governing the nomination of candidates to campaign for election to public office for four consecutive years

3. Failure to complete legal person registration within one year after filing

Article 28 A political party may dissolve or merge with another political party via a resolution of its representative assembly or party congress.

Political parties shall file notice with the competent authority within thirty (30) days after dissolution.

Political parties that merge with other political parties to form a new political party shall follow the provisions prescribed in Article 7, Paragraph 1, and the rights and obligations of the original political parties shall be borne by the new political party. The rights and obligations of the political party that has been dissolved because of the merger shall be borne by the surviving political party in accordance with the provisions prescribed in Article 10.

Article 29 The competent authority shall publicly announce filings for the dissolution or abolishment of a political party. Political parties that have also completed legal person registration, shall petition the court to register the dissolution.

Article 30 Political parties declared dissolved by the Judicial Yuan Constitutional Court shall terminate all operations starting from the day that the judgment is made; such political parties may not set up replacement organizations featuring identical aims and goals.

Political parties that have been declared dissolved as described in the preceding paragraph may not re-establish a political party or engage in activities under the same name or abbreviated name.

Members of political parties that have been dissolved or abolished shall lose eligibility of the selected Legislators-at-Large and Legislators Residing Overseas in National Legislative Elections according to ratios prescribed by the political parties from the effective date of the judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Judicial Yuan or from the date of the Competent Authority’s announcement of dissolution. This provision does not apply to political parties that have dissolved due to mergers.

Article 31 For political parties that have merged, eligibility of the selected Legislators-at-Large and Legislators Residing Overseas in National Legislative Elections according to ratios prescribed by the political parties remains unaffected. Vacant posts shall be filled in order in accordance with the list of candidates prepared by the political parties that the original post holders were the members of prior to the merger.

Individual political parties involved in a party merger who themselves fail to attain at least three percent (3%) of the votes as prescribed in Article 22, Paragraph 1 will not be eligible for a subsidy even if the combined votes of the political parties satisfy this requirement.

Article 32 Property liquidation for political parties that have been dissolved or abolished and those that have not completed their legal person registrations shall be performed in accordance with said political parties’ party charter or resolutions made by said parties’ representative assembly or party congress. If a party’s charter does not contain such provisions and that party’s representative assembly or party congress cannot be convened, the competent authority may elect and assign a liquidator to handle the matter pursuant to the liquidation provisions of the Civil Act.

Any surplus that remains after political party liquidation shall belong to the national treasury.

Chapter 6. Penalties

Article 33 In any political party election of party leaders and/or election of central, municipal, and/or county/city-level party officers, any of the following circumstances shall be punishable by imprisonment of not more than three years and a fine not exceeding NT$300,000:

1. A person with the right to vote demands, agrees upon with a tacit accord, or receives property or other unfair advantage in exchange for not exercising said right to vote or exercising it for any agreed-upon purpose.

2. A person seeks to induce another/others who have the right to vote, by promising with a tacit accord or delivering property or other unfair advantage,

not to exercise said right to vote or to exercise said vote for any agreed-upon purpose.

3. A person seeks to induce a candidate to forfeit an election or hold certain agreed-upon campaign activities by promising with a tacit accord or delivering property or other unfair advantage.

4. A candidate demands, agrees upon with a tacit accord, or accepts property or other unfair advantage in exchange for forfeiting an election or holding certain agreed-upon campaign activities.

Political parties holding elections for party leaders and/or central, municipal, and county/city-level staff elections shall make public all matters related to their election operations and shall set forth the starting and ending times, operational flows, qualifications of candidates, and confirmation of persons eligible for voting. Political parties shall file a submission with the competent authority within five days of announcing election activities for future reference.

Article 34 Political parties acting in violation of Article 23 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$5 million but not more than NT$25 million. In cases of non-compliance with an order to cease operations or investments within the prescribed time period, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 35 Political parties acting in violation of Article 24 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$5 million but not more than NT$25 million. In cases of non-compliance with an order to convey real property within the prescribed time period, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 36 Chief conspirators of political parties in violation of Article 30, Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$1 million but not more than NT$5 million, and all accomplices shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$50,000 but not more than NT$250,000. In cases of non-compliance with an order to cease the unlawful conduct, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 37 Political parties in violation of Article 18 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$500,000 but not more than NT$2.5 million. In cases of non-compliance with an order to disband such organizations within a specified time period, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 38 Political parties in violation of Article 20 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$500,000 but not more than NT$2.5 million.

Article 39 Political parties in violation of Article 7, Paragraph 4 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$200,000 but not more than NT$1 million. In cases of non-compliance with an order to cease the unlawful conduct, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 40 The competent authority shall notify political parties in violation of Article 21, Paragraphs 1 and 3 (i.e., failure to file a declaration or failure to file a declaration in compliance with relevant laws and regulations) to file a declaration or make revisions within a prescribed time period. Political parties that still fail to file a declaration shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$1,000,000 but not more than NT$5,000,000. Parties that fail to revise or whose revisions fail to meet requirements shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$200,000 but not more than NT$1 million. In cases of non-compliance with an order to cease the unlawful conduct, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Article 41 Political parties in violation of Article 11, Paragraph 2 shall be punished with a fine of not less than NT$100,000 but not more than NT$500,000. In cases of non-compliance with an order to cease the unlawful conduct, a fine may be imposed for each instance of the violation.

Chapter 7. Supplementary Laws and Regulations

Article 42 The competent authority may deduct fines imposed in accordance with this Act but not discharged by a political party within the prescribed period of time from the subsidy granted to said political party pursuant to Article 22, Paragraph 1.

Article 43 Political parties that filed declarations with relevant departments in accordance with the Civil Associations Act prior to the enactment of this Act and whose organizations, charters, and related matters fail to comply with the provisions prescribed in this Act shall make revisions within two years following the promulgation of this Act. The declarations of parties that fail to make the required revisions within the prescribed period of time or whose revisions still fail to meet requirements will be revoked.

Political groups established in compliance with the Civil Associations Act prior to the enactment of this Act shall revise their charters within two years following the enactment of this Act. The charters of groups that fail to make the required revisions within the prescribed period of time or whose revisions still fail to meet requirements will be revoked.

Political groups whose charters have been revoked pursuant to the preceding paragraph shall be dissolved and the liquidation of their property shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of Article 32 of this Law.

Article 44 The electronic file formats of documents, tables, and political party emblems for use under this act this Act shall be defined by the competent authority.

Article 45 Article 43, Paragraph 6 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act and political party-related provisions prescribed in the Civil Associations Act shall no longer apply starting from the effective date of this Act.

Article 46 This Act shall take effect on the date of promulgation.


 
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