Wed, Jul 31, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Gou asked to avoid party division

GREATER GOAL:Wu Den-yih said a party rift might cause the KMT to lose, which would go against Gou’s original intention to improve the nation’s economy

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) on Sunday urged Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) not to divide the party, as an internal rift would only benefit President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election bid.

Wu made the remarks on the sidelines of the party’s national convention shortly after it formally nominated Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) as its candidate in next year’s presidential election.

Gou did not attend the convention, despite being invited along with other primary candidates.

The tycoon has not made any public appearance since Han beat him by 17 percentage points in the KMT’s primary earlier this month, stoking rumors that he might launch an independent bid.

According to Gou’s campaign office, he is traveling abroad and plans to return in the middle of next month.

Asked about a petition campaign launched by Gou’s supporters last week to support an independent run for president, Wu said that a rift within the KMT would help Tsai.

“We cannot stop people from launching a petition, but we hope Mr Gou would not divide the KMT for the sake of the party,” he said.

If the KMT loses the opportunity to fix the nation’s economy because of an internal rift, it would go against Gou’s intention to run for president in the first place, he said, adding that improving the economy is Gou’s priority.

“I hope he will hear this advice I am offering from the bottom of my heart and carefully consider the matter,” Wu said.

Asked if he has tried to contact Gou, Wu said that he does not have Gou’s telephone number, but added that he has told many of Gou’s friends that he knows Gou is loyal to the nation and harbors good feelings toward the KMT.

Asked about a rumor that party members have proposed giving Wu a legislator-at-large seat, the chairman said that he has never heard the rumor before.

He has been a legislator for three terms, but was always elected and never assigned an at-large seat, he said, adding that he would carefully consider the suggestion if it is proposed.

Asked if he would like to be the next legislative speaker, Wu said that he has not heard any discussion about it.

Based on past practice, matters concerning the legislator-at-large seats would not be determined until October, Wu said, adding: “There is still time.”

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