Tue, Apr 28, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung to reschedule meeting on citizenship row

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Kaohsiung City Council’s Discipline Committee will soon make another attempt to discuss a proposal to suspend a councilor accused of holding dual citizenship, the head of the committee said yesterday.

“The meeting will be rescheduled,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) City Councilor Lee Wen-­liang (李文良) said when asked for comment.

The committee, which had been scheduled to hold its first meeting in 23 years last Monday to discuss the possible suspension of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) City Councilor Huang Shao-ting (黃紹庭), was forced to reschedule because only two of the committee’s seven members showed up.

However, Lee said, the committee is not authorized to suspend a councilor.

“We can only bar him from attending council meetings for a period of time,” Lee said.

Huang has been at the center of a dual nationality controversy since Kaohsiung prosecutors launched an investigation on April 1 into allegations that he traveled to the US on a US passport in 2007.

Huang was elected in late 2006. He was suspended as secretary-general of the KMT caucus at the council following the allegations.

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 citizenship in another country.

Huang has said he had completed legal procedures to renounce his US citizenship, but never handed in documentation to prove it.

Huang signed an agreement on April 8 authorizing the judiciary to check with US authorities regarding the validity of his US passport.

The DPP caucus at the council initiated a proposal earlier this month that Huang be suspended and barred from attending council meetings.

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