Tue, Apr 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Protesters, society demand Kaohsiung city councilor resign

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Southern Taiwan Society and around 100 protesters yesterday demanded that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Shao-ting (黃紹庭) resign following allegations that he has a US passport.

Protesters blew whistles in front of the city council yesterday morning, holding placards that read “Violation of the Election and Recall Act for Public Servants [公職人員選舉罷免法] and guilty of fraud” and “Kaohsiung does not need a Diane Lee [李慶安]” — referring to the former KMT legislator who lost her seat over her US citizenship.

The protesters called on Huang to step down and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to ensure allegations against Huang were investigated.

“He [Huang] should not be allowed to receive his salary or participate in council meetings,” society president Cheng Cheng-iok (鄭正煜) said.

Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chuang Chi-wang (莊啟旺) of the KMT told the protesters that prosecutors were scheduled to question Huang today.

Chuang said he respected due judicial procedure and had handed over information requested by prosecutors.

Last Wednesday Kaohsiung prosecutors launched an investigation into allegations that Huang traveled to the US on a US passport in 2007.

Huang, whose position as secretary-general of the KMT caucus at the council has been suspended following the allegations, was elected in late 2006.

The Nationality Act (國籍法) prohibits government officials from having 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.

Huang says he completed legal procedures to renounce his US citizenship but never handed in the documentation to prove it.

He told reporters yesterday that the controversy should be resolved through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which could reply to the council’s inquiry and prove he had renounced his US citizenship.

Meanwhile, a proposal by Kaohsiung’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) city councilors to refer Huang to the council’s disciplinary committee failed yesterday. The proposal to refer Huang for possible suspension did not garner the required number of votes in the council.

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