Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he is unlikely to ask People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to nominate him as the party’s presidential candidate for next year’s election.
He made the remark in response to media queries on whether he would ask Soong to nominate him if Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) decided not to run.
In a magazine interview published on Friday, Ko said that if Gou, who he endorses for president, does not register to become an independent candidate by the Central Election Commission’s deadline of Sept. 17, his only option would be to “discuss it with Soong and see if he wants to nominate me.”
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
According to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法), only political parties that received more than 5 percent of the total ballots in the previous election can recommend candidates for president and vice president.
The PFP received 6.52 percent and the New Power Party (NPP) received 6.1 percent of the 2016 legislator-at-large party vote.
Ko said that if he does not register to be an independent candidate by Sept. 17, his only chance of running would be a nomination from the PFP or the NPP.
Asked if it would be awkward for him, as the newly elected chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party, to be recommended by another political party, Ko said that the scenario is unlikely to happen.
He was also asked to comment on a news report that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who might cooperate with Ko and Gou in the election, has already gained more than 280,000 signatures supporting his bid for the presidency.
According to their simulation data, it is not easy to obtain 280,000 signatures and it would be safer to get at least 400,000, as some might be invalid, Ko said, adding that he is not sure if the report is accurate, but he thinks it is better to wait until the standard petition form is announced before starting to collect signatures.
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