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PFP's VP candidate Lin Ruey-shiung affirms having given up US citizenship

TAIPEI--Lin Ruey-shiung, set to be People First Party (PFP) Chairman and presidential candidate James Soong's running mate in the upcoming presidential election, is not a U.S. citizen, a spokeswoman for the minor opposition party said Monday.

Lin, who retired as an epidemiologist several years ago, visited the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) — the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties — Sept. 26 to take a vow to renounce his U.S. citizenship, said Huang Shan-shan.

The U.S. citizenship renunciation takes effect the day after renunciation, according to precedent in a similar case involving former Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Shao-ting, according to the spokeswoman.

Huang Shan-shan cited a news statement issued by the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Aug. 17, 2010 that quoted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as confirming the validity of Huang Shao-ting's renunciation of his U.S. citizenship by simply taking the vow at the AIT Taipei Office on June 13, 2008.

The MOFA said in its response to the CEC about Huang Shao-ting's case that the U.S. does not have any official application procedure for citizenship renunciation, according to Huang Shan-shan.

The PFP spokeswoman made the remarks in response to a China Times report in which New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming said that Lin was “probably still a U.S. citizen” and speculated that Soong might not necessarily register as a presidential candidate, even though his ticket has obtained enough endorsement signatures for a presidential bid.

The PFP is running in accordance with its own plans and “the party does not need anyone to worry about us,” the spokeswoman said.

Pundits say that Soong, a veteran politician who ran a failed bid for the presidency as an independent in 2000 after splitting with the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), could hurt the re-election chances of President Ma Ying-jeou, who is reportedly locked in a tight race with the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP)'s Tsai Ing-wen.

Meanwhile, CEC Secretary-General Teng Tien-you quoted the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law as stipulating that candidates should not hold dual nationality on the date they formally register for candidacy.

“The ticket's candidacy or the election of the candidates will be nullified if anyone on the ticket is found to hold dual nationality,” Teng said.

Ma and his running mate Premier Wu Den-yih registered Monday for the election, becoming the first ticket to do so. Registrations for the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative races opened Monday and will close Nov. 25.

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