Sat, Aug 31, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Gou to run as independent or not at all

CONFLICTING STATEMENTS:While a Taichung City Councilor said the People First Party was willing to nominate Gou as its presidential candidate, the party denied it

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou waves to reporters as he leaves Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) would run as an independent if he decides to join next year’s presidential race, his office said yesterday, following reports that the People First Party (PFP) might nominate him.

If Gou decides to run for president, he would inform the public by Sept. 17, the registration deadline for independent candidates, said Evelyn Tsai (蔡沁瑜), deputy chief executive of Gou’s Yonglin Foundation.

So far, Gou has no plans to cooperate with any political parties, she told reporters waiting at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) shortly after the tycoon’s private jet landed.

Gou told reporters at the airport that he had just ended a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia to learn about its petroleum industries, as well as its energy, childcare and higher education policies.

He had been invited by Saudi Arabian officials and met with seven ministerial-level officials, he said.

The officials were very interested in Taiwan’s electronics and semiconductor industries and hope to improve bilateral trade relations with Taiwan, Gou said.

“I have often said that Taiwan should ensure peace with China while increasing cooperation with countries to its east and south,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is an important market in the Middle East and the Islamic world. I hope Taiwan can expand its horizons and fully explore that market,” he added.

Traveling to Saudi Arabia requires an expensive visa, so he brought up the issue with the nation’s “highest-level officials,” and was promised that Taiwanese would be offered a discount, Gou said.

The visa fee to Saudi Arabia is US$800, but the royal family had pledged to reduce it to about US$80 if Gou is elected president, Tsai said.

Meanwhile, PFP Taichung City Councilor Tuan Wei-yu (段緯宇) yesterday said that the party is willing to nominate Gou as its presidential candidate.

However, PFP Organization Department director Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) later denied the claim, saying the party never discussed whether to nominate a non-party member.

Whoever the party decides to nominate must have support from the majority of Taiwanese, he said.

In other developments, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday said that he would not consider running as the deputy of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate.

Asked about a proposal by KMT legislators earlier this week that he run as Han’s vice president, Chu said that he “would not ask for any position, or discuss being assigned any position” in Han’s team.

As a KMT member, he would help the party’s presidential and legislative candidates with their election campaigns, he said, adding that members’ personal interests are not so important.

Additional reporting by Chen Yun

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