Wed, Dec 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Legislature to send confidential letters on US probe results

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature’s Procedure Committee decided yesterday to give each member a confidential letter containing the results of the US’ investigation into the nationality status of lawmakers and then allow its plenary session to deal with the probe’s results.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), the committee convener, said the committee had arranged for the issue to clear the floor during Friday’s plenary session, which would be responsible for dealing with the probe’s results.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Dec. 8 that it had received a report from the US on the citizenship status of Taiwanese lawmakers on Dec. 5.

The legislature decided on May 23 to investigate the citizenship of all members in response to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ allegations that KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) is a US citizen.

Lee has been beset by claims that she holds dual nationality ever since Chinese-language Next Magazine alleged in June that she holds a valid US passport. By law, Taiwanese with dual citizenship cannot serve as government officials. If the allegations are true, she would have to give up the seat she has held since 1998 and repay her lawmaker’s salary.

Lee says she obtained permanent US residency in 1985 and citizenship in 1991 but automatically lost that citizenship when she became a public official in Taiwan. That explanation, however, does not meet the US government’s requirements for relinquishing US citizenship.

DPP Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) told the Procedure Committee that as the majority party in the legislature, the KMT had not taken any “positive” steps to deal with the dual nationality issue, and it should apologize to voters over the matter.

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