Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Legislature has received US probe reply, Wang says

PASSPORT RUMPUS The citizenship controversy began when a magazine alleged that KMT Legislator Diane Lee held US nationality

By FloraWang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) confirmed yesterday that the legislature had received a reply from the US to its nationality probe from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wang said the legislature’s Procedure Committee was scheduled to discuss today whether to include the reply in Friday’s plenary agenda.

He said lawmakers would then decide whether to publicize the document, which was labeled confidential.

The citizenship controversy began when the Chinese-language Next Magazine alleged that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) still held US nationality.

Lee has argued that she obtained permanent residency in the US in 1985 and citizenship in 1991, but lost her US citizenship when she became a public official in Taiwan.

The Ministry only received the US reply recently. Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) said it was not specific enough.

His silence drew criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which alleged that Ou was trying to shield the KMT.

The Legislative Yuan on Tuesday asked the ministry to submit the reply to the legislature by last Thursday.

The DPP caucus also requested that copies of the reply be sent to all three legislative caucuses.

Asked by the Taipei Times on Thursday, both DPP and KMT caucuses said they had not received the reply while a ministry official reported not having received the legislature’s official request.

An official at the legislature’s Personnel Department, which is responsible for ensuring that lawmakers qualify for office, declined to comment when asked by the Taipei Times whether the legislature’s request had been sent to the ministry.

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