The Central Election Commission (CEC) must nullify the election of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Shao-ting (黃紹庭) today because he is a US citizen, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday, panning the commission for not including the issue in today’s CEC meeting agenda.
DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said the CEC had dragged its feet on the issue of Huang’s status in the last two meetings.
“However, when former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator George Liu (劉寬平) was found to have US citizenship, it took the CEC one meeting to annul the election result and invalidate his election certificate,” said Cheng, adding that the CEC must hold a by-election to fill the vacancy.
The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office should also investigate whether Huang committed fraud by accepting regular paychecks from the government during his stint in office, Cheng said.
In April, media reports claimed that Huang still had US citizenship, but he denied it, saying he gave up his US passport “a long time ago.”
In May, the American Institute in Taiwan confirmed that Huang relinquished his citizenship last year.
Huang was elected in late 2006. His position as secretary-general of the KMT caucus at the council was suspended following the allegation about his citizenship.
The Nationality Act (國籍法) prohibits government officials from holding dual citizenship and obliges those with a second nationality to renounce it before being sworn in. The Act also requires that they present proof within one year of assuming office that they have renounced their second citizenship.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) yesterday said Huang had used his US passport to travel in and out of Taiwan on numerous occasions while serving as a Kaohsiung city councilor.
“There is ample evidence to prove that he has violated the Nationality Act. It all depends on the CEC — if it has the guts to use the evidence against Huang and act like an independent commission, as it was intended to be,” she said.
CEC Secretary-General Teng Tien-yu (鄧天祐) yesterday rebutted the DPP accusation.
“[The DPP’s accusation] is not true — we’ve discussed Huang’s case in two meetings already, and CEC members decided at the meetings to ask Huang about his side of the story,” Teng told the Taipei Times by telephone.
He said Huang’s case would not be discussed at the meeting today because the commission was still waiting for a response from the US government regarding Huang’s citizenship status.
Teng said that following a request by the commission on June 30, Huang authorized the CEC to check his US citizenship status with the US government.
“We issued a request to the US government as soon as we received permission from Huang on July 14,” Teng said. “But we haven’t heard from them yet.”
Teng also denied the DPP allegation that it only took the CEC one meeting to revoke Liu’s status as a lawmaker because Liu held US citizenship during his term as a legislator from 2004 to 2007.