Back to list

U.S.-born ROC citizen announces bid to run for legislator

2015/03/31 19:37:38

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Environmental activist and lawyer Robin Winkler, who gave up his U.S. citizenship to become a naturalized Republic of China citizen in 2003, became the first-ever foreign-born individual in Taiwan Tuesday to throw his hat into the legislative election of 2016.

It is the second time Winkler has decided to run for a seat in the Legislature.

Winkler had sought to run in a legislative by-election in Taipei in 2009 but was rejected by the Taipei City Election Commission, which cited the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, under which a foreigner has to have been naturalized for 10 years before he is allowed to run in local elections.

The 60-year-old, who has a Ph.D. in law from the University of Denver, arrived in Taiwan in 1977 and has been living here ever since. He is a member of the Green Party Taiwan.

He founded the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association in late 2003 and served as a member of an Environmental Protection Administration committee tasked with evaluating the environmental impact of development projects from 2005-2007.

The founder of the Winkler Partners law firm has been a vocal critic of major infrastructure projects, including Formosa Plastics Group's sixth naphtha cracking complex in southern Taiwan's Yunlin County.

He has also criticized the government for allying itself with enterprises and pressuring committee members to rush environmental evaluations through.

(By Zoe Wei and Scully Hsiao)