Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday stayed mum about his presidential ambitions, amid speculation that he might team up with People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for next January’s election.
Ko on Wednesday told reporters that he had not initiated a discussion with the PFP over the matter, adding: “Do not force me to think about things I do not want to think about every day.”
During an interview in Taipei yesterday, Ko was asked to respond to PFP Director-General Chang Sho-wen’s (張碩文) reported comments that “one plus one would be greater than two” and “it remains to be seen who represents the first ‘one’” about a possible Ko-Soong ticket.
Soong ran as an independent in the 2000 presidential election, and ran for vice president on a ticket with former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) as the KMT’s presidential nominee in the 2004 election.
Ko said that he would start worrying about it when “things actually start to happen,” adding: “There are all kinds of possibilities of cooperation.”
Asked to comment on former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) remark that if Ko ran, he would “definitely finish third,” Ko said: “What place does he think he would finish in then?”
Chu is one of five KMT members hoping to win their party’s nomination.
Asked to comment on an analysis by his aides that said he would be more likely to run if the KMT were to nominate Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Ko said: “We will see about that.”
“I have often wondered: How is Taiwan going to find its way forward with this constant turmoil?” he said.
Asked whether that he meant that he does not want to see Han elected, a chuckling Ko said the reporter was “jumping to conclusions.”
Asked what he thought of a comment that his entry into the race would make it easier for Han to win, Ko dismissed it as hypothetical and declined to comment further.
Meanwhile, there was speculation yesterday in the local media that Ko could form a ticket with former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is taking part in the KMT primary.
Asked by reporters if he would ask Ko to run as his vice president, Gou said: “Ask me again next week.”
Additional reporting by Ann Maxon and staff writer
This story has been updated since it was first published.
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