Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) on Sunday proposed amending the Nationality Act (國籍法) to tighten rules on Taiwanese who have residency abroad.
The regulations on Taiwanese with foreign residency are lax and Article 20 of the act should be amended to bar them from holding public office, she said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Friday said the government should treat Taiwanese who hold China’s newly issued residency cards the same way as it treats US green card holders.
Kuan said she reviewed the laws and regulations on Taiwanese who reside abroad and found only nine provisions that addressed the issue.
The only provision that restricts cardholders’ rights is Article 7 of the Measures of Verifying Security of National Intelligence Agents (國家情報工作人員安全查核辦法), which bars them from working for intelligence agencies, she said.
The rest covers procedures regarding travel, passports and other matters, she said.
Kuan also said that she is against Ko’s proposal.
Former DPP legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) had proposed amending the act, but the proposal was blocked by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during cross-caucus negotiations to protect former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), she said.
At the time, legislators had discussed whether to bar those with foreign residency from holding public office or requiring them to give up their foreign residency before they can take office, she said.
Those holding public office are responsible for leading and planning government policies and must therefore be absolutely loyal to the nation, she said, adding that her proposal had received widespread support from the public.
While it is rumored that Ma might run for president again in 2020, Kuan said that if the amendment is passed, Ma would have to give up his green card to stand for election.
In response, Ma’s office spokeswoman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said that Kuan’s remarks about Ma were an attempt to change the public agenda and that the office had no further comments.
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