Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) would not run for president representing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), even if the party replaced its presidential candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Gou’s office said yesterday.
“If Gou is to run for president, he would definitely run as an independent,” said Evelyn Tsai (蔡沁瑜), deputy chief executive of Gou’s Yonglin Foundation.
The decision is not the result of influence from political parties or China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), she said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Tsai was referring to a report by Chinese-language Up Media published on Sunday that said the KMT had sent a representative to the TAO to discuss replacing Han with a new candidate.
The KMT has denied the report.
Whether Han should be replaced is something the KMT must decide on its own, she said.
“Mr Gou has never considered replacing Han as the party’s presidential candidate. No matter what happens in the party, he would not return to become its presidential candidate,” she said.
Asked to comment on Gou previously agreeing to the KMT’s presidential primary regulations and whether running for president as an independent would breach that agreement, Tsai said it is only an issue if viewed purely from the KMT’s perspective.
What matters to Gou is what is best for the country and its people, she said.
“From that perspective, we believe members of the public would make the best and correct choice,” she said.
Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital superintendent Hou Ming-feng (侯明鋒), an elder brother of New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), said earlier yesterday at a hospital event in Kaohsiung that he had declined an invitation to be Gou’s running mate.
His priorities are providing medical services, research and teaching, he added.
Tsai said it is a shame that the surgeon declined the offer.
Hou Ming-feng is a rare talent and hopefully there would be other opportunities for collaboration, she said.
Separately, Han said he found it hard to believe that KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) would send a representative to the TAO to discuss replacing him.
“If that is true, officials at KMT headquarters must have lost their minds,” he said during a Facebook livestream.
The TAO does not have the right to vote in next year’s presidential and legislative elections, he said, adding that it is the people of Taiwan who will choose the president.
“My stance is very clear: to protect the Republic of China, take care of Taiwanese and oppose Taiwanese independence,” he said, adding that those who support independence should vote for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
Wu said that the KMT would think long and hard before considering changing its candidate.
“We will not make the same mistake we did in 2016,” he told reporters, referring to the party’s replacement of then-presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) with former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
If Gou runs for president as an independent, the party would “let him leave” according to its regulations, he said.
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