Ryan Pinder Good To Go
Ryan Pinder, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidate for the Elizabeth by-election, renounced his U.S. citizenship before he was nominated to run for election on January 29.
A letter shown to BahamasB2B, allegedly from the U.S. Embassy, indicates that Mr Pinder renounced his citizenship on January 20, 2010, nine days before he was nominated to run in the Elizabeth by-election.
"The government of the United States no longer considers Mr Pinder to be a US citizen." the letter states.
"His US passport is no longer valid and has been forwarded to the issuing agency within the US government."
Pinder had faced tremendous criticism regarding his US citizenship and his loyalty to The Bahamas, with some saying he was not eligible for the House of Assembly.
During and after the campaign, Mr Pinder was under pressure to prove that he had renounced his US citizenship, despite his claiming to do so.
At one point, when asked to provide documentation, Mr Pinder seemed agitated and responded by saying his word was his bond. Yesterday, he seemed relieved that the controversy was over.
"It is troubling that certain people would not believe me and hold me to my word. I am happy that the issue is now put to bed. It is unfortunate that the FNM has used this as a political football to confuse the good people of Elizabeth."
"But as I have maintained from day one, I am a politician above the fray. I am a politician who will not roll in the mud, and I am a politician concerned about the issues that are important to the Bahamian people."
However, a source within the FNM has pointed out that, despite renouncing his citizenship on January 20, at the time of the nomination, technically, Mr Pinder was still a US citizen. This is due to the fact that his renunciation only comes into effect when the US State Department approves the renunciation. It is not automatic, so the date of approval would be important.