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Taiwan: Proposed Changes to Campaign Finance Law

(May 13, 2015) Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior has drafted legislation that would amend the Political Donations Act to raise the ceiling for individual political donations to multiple candidates from the current NT$200,000 (about US$6,508) per year to NT$300,000. The amount of a donation an individual can make to a single candidate, not more than NT$100,000 per year, would remain the same. (Lee Hsin-fang & Jake Chung, Ministry Outlines Statutes Governing Political Donations, TAIPEI TIMES (Apr. 6, 2015); Political Donations Act (last amended Jan. 7, 2015), LAWS AND REGULATIONS DATABASE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA [toggle for Chinese text].)

Under the Act, business donations to a single candidate may not exceed NT$1 million per year; the limit for donations by businesses to multiple candidates is NT$2 million. For civic groups, donations may not be above NT$500,000 for single candidates or NT$1 million for multiple candidates. Funds provided by anonymous donors cannot exceed NT$10,000. (Lee & Chung, supra.) Jonathan Chen, Deputy Minister of the Interior, pointed out that some businesses and groups are not permitted to give political donations; namely, “[t]hose without the right to vote; companies or factories with large government contracts or sales; indebted firms that have yet to pay said debt; and citizens of Hong Kong, Macau, China or other foreign citizens, legal persons and groups.” (Id.)

According to Lin Ching-chi, Deputy Director of the Department of Civil Affairs under the Ministry of the Interior, the draft legislation underwent the first reading at the end of 2014 and is awaiting further review in the legislature. (Id.)