Soong must forfeit NT$15 million deposit in presidential election

The China Post

By Grace Soong–People First Party presidential candidate James Soong will not be able to retrieve the NT$15 million security deposit he submitted to run for president, nor will he receive any campaign subsidy, as the percentage of votes he obtained was short of the thresholds set in the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). With the 369,588 votes he received on the 2012 presidential election on Jan. 14, totaling 2.77 percent of the overall votes, Soong’s campaign was not a success either politically or financially.

According to the Election Act, candidates for presidential and legislative elections whose support reaches one-third of the overall vote are eligible to collect an election subsidy of NT$30 per vote from the government. Parties that receive 5 percent of the overall party vote are also entitled to NT$50 per party vote from the government for each of the following four years before a new election.

Although Soong failed to salvage the NT$15 million security deposit, the PFP will still be given NT$36.1 million for the party votes they received in the legislator-at-large election, in which ranked fourth after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU, 台灣團結聯盟). Monetarily speaking, calculating from the overall subsidies to be granted, the KMT is the biggest winner: while President Ma Ying-jeou will not only reclaim his security deposit but also be granted over NT$267 million for the votes he received, the party should receive about NT$293 million per year for four years straight.

The DPP, which came second in the overall party votes received, is eligible to regain the security deposit its candidate Tsai Ing-wen put into the presidential election, and would in addition obtain NT$183 million and NT$228 million for the votes received in the presidential election and at-large legislator election, relatively.

Having reached the 5-percent threshold for the at-large legislator election, the TSU will receive NT$58.9 million for the upcoming four years.

The legislators who received the most number of votes and hence will be awarded the greatest number of subsidies in the five cities are Taipei’s Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), receiving NT$3.56 million; New Taipei City’s Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才), receiving NT$3.97 million; Taichung’s Lu Shiow-yuan (盧秀燕), receiving NT$3.89 million; Tainan’s Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), receiving NT$5.18 million; and Kaohsiung’s Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺), receiving NT$3.34 million.