Taiwan PFP chairman Soong picked NTU professor as running mate

Opposition People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong announced his running mate today, ending days of speculation by the media. PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu said that Soong will register as a presidential candidate via a public endorsement campaign, to begin after his announcement at the Central Election Commission.

Soong has picked Lin Ruey-shiung as his presidential election running mate for 2012. Lin is currently a professor emeritus in the College of Public Health at National Taiwan University, dedicated to improving public health and international diplomatic relations.
Lin Ruey-shiung, 73, graduated from the National Taiwan University Medical Department in 1965. In 1970, Lin attained a doctorate in epigenetics from Heidelberg University in Germany, then returned to Taiwan to assist in planning the Public Health Department in National Taiwan University. In 1972, Lin went to John Hopkins University to study for a doctoral degree in epidemiology.

From 1985 to 1993 Lin was very active in the international arena, working with Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam to improve the sanitary environment. He also built relationships with academics around the world to gather their support in making a consensus for Taiwan to enter the World Health Organization.

PFP spokesman Thomas Lee said on Sunday that Soong vetted more than five people. As a lot of groups and media outlets are openly hostile to his party, however, the candidates faced a great deal of pressure before the announcement was made.

PFP chairman Soong said in the press conference today that he would use the signature collection drive to gauge the will of the public. He explained that if he garners the endorsement of one million voters, his chances of winning will be greatly boosted; and if not, he will withdraw from the 2012 presidential election.