Taiwan's Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed a second request by the opposition Kuomintang to judge whether a law on political party assets passed in July is constitutional.
In September, 35 KMT legislators jointly requested the Constitutional Court to issue an interpretation on the Statute on Handling the Inappropriate Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliated Organizations, which the KMT considers to be "unconstitutional and unlawful."
That request was rejected by the court on Oct. 21 on the grounds that it was not supported by an adequate number of legislators.
According to existing law, a request for a constitutional interpretation is considered valid only if it is endorsed by one-third of legislators, or 38 lawmakers given that the Legislature has 113 seats.
The KMT currently has 35 seats, and no other party was willing to support its bid.
Following that ruling, the KMT then challenged the threshold of one-third of all legislators needed to ask for a constitutional interpretation, saying it was too strict and could not protect the right of minority legislators to challenge the majority party.
It asked the Constitutional Court for an interpretation of the threshold requirement and to provisionally handle the party asset law, but the request was dismissed on Friday.
The party assets law, which took effect in August, empowers a committee to investigate, retroactively confiscate and return or restore to the rightful owners all assets obtained by the KMT and its affiliated organizations since Aug. 15, 1945.
That was when Japan handed over its assets in Taiwan to the then ruling party of the Republic of China.
The law assumes that all KMT assets -- except for the party's membership fees, political donations, government subsidies for KMT candidates running for public offices, and interest generated from these funds -- are "ill-gotten" and must be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.
Late last month, the KMT's main bank account was frozen by request of the committee, forcing the party to delay paying its employees their salaries for September.
The KMT criticized the committee for the action, saying it did not have the legal right to ask the bank to freeze the account.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel