A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus of attempting to cover up for the KMT government by not including Presidential Office officials in a citizenship probe.
The legislature on May 23 passed a resolution to probe the foreign citizenship of all lawmakers and government officials, following queries by the DPP over the alleged US citizenship of KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安).
The dual citizenship issue surfaced in March with reports that Lee, sworn in for her fourth legislative term on Feb. 1, had never renounced her US citizenship.
At the time, the legislature resolved that information on all legislators should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) before June 10, while government agencies were to submit information on all other public officials within three months of June 3.
DPP Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) told a press conference yesterday that the legislature on June 4 issued documents to the Executive Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Control Yuan and Examination Yuan, asking officials from these bodies to submit their information to MOFA for further nationality probes. The legislature did not issue a document to the Presidential Office, Tien said.
“Are Presidential Office officials not public officials?” Tien said.
Meanwhile, Tien said that according to information she obtained from MOFA, so far no officials from the Executive Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Control Yuan or Examination Yuan had signed and mailed back their letter of consent for MOFA to allow the ministry to probe their nationality status.
Article 20 of the Nationality Act (國籍法) prohibits anyone with foreign citizenship from holding a government position. Any lawmaker or government official found to have dual citizenship would be relieved of his or her duties and forced to return his or her salary.
Lee, who obtained US citizenship in 1991, maintained that she legally lost her status as a US citizen when she was sworn in as a Taipei city councilor in 1994.
Despite a recent reply from the US that showed Diane Lee still possesses US citizenship, the legislature resolved on Friday not to rule on her eligibility to be a lawmaker until the US responded to the MOFA’s request for a more detailed nationality probe.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said later on Friday that the legislature would wait until Jan. 31 to see whether Lee can produce a document certifying the loss of her US citizenship, before considering the next move.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA