TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) image took another hit on Wednesday (Jan. 8) when news broke that he and his family had applied to emigrate to Canada just a year before running for mayor of Kaohsiung.
On Wednesday, Next Magazine reported that after the family acquired a 26.6 ping (88 square meters) property in Vancouver in 2016, Han and his wife Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬) started making plans to move the family to Canada and apply for permanent residency in 2017. Over the summer vacation in 2016, the Han family lived in Canada for nearly two months as they looked for schools for their three children, enrolling their eldest daughter, Coco Han (韓冰), at the University of British Columbia.
After Han failed in his bid to be elected KMT party chairman in May 2017, he spent another summer vacation in Vancouver. During his stay in Canada, he was advised to run for mayor of Kaohsiung, but he rejected the idea due to opposition from Lee and his daughter Coco, according to the report.
In September the same year, Han took the helm as KMT party chairman for Kaohsiung City. After much deliberation with Lee and Coco, they finally gave their blessing for him to run in the Kaohsiung mayoral race in April 2018.
When Han made the decision to run for mayor, his staff sifted through his record to see if there were any controversial incidents that could mar his election bid. In addition to digging up his conviction for negligent homicide in a fatal car accident, his alleged mistress "Miss Wang" (王小姐), and his luxury farmhouse, staffers discovered that he was applying for permanent residency in Canada, according to the report.
His election team then recommended that he abandon his application for residency in Canada as soon as possible. Han reportedly reassured them that he could cancel it but that this did not preclude the rest of his family from continuing to apply for permanent residency.
After the news of his family's plans to move to Canada broke on Wednesday, Han told reporters that he and his family members have only one nationality, the "Republic of China." Han later that day reiterated that he and his family have only one nationality, one health insurance card, and one identity card.
Han said that if he is elected president and found to have dual citizenship, he would say to all compatriots that "Dual nationality is not allowed, even an elected president must resign," reported SET News. When asked to comment on the case, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) said that in accordance with Canada's Privacy Act, it cannot comment on individual cases.