Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) appeared together in public for the first time yesterday amid speculation that they are planning to team up against Taiwan’s two major parties in next year’s presidential and legislative elections.
The three influential figures sat together at a concert in Taipei that commemorated the 61st anniversary of the start of the 823 Artillery Bombardment in Kinmen County, and afterward posed for photographs, taking turns to stand in the middle of their group.
Speaking to reporters after the concert, Ko said that their first public appearance was “just the beginning.”
He did not elaborate.
On the question of whether the trio have worked out an election strategy, Ko did not give a direct answer, saying only that he wanted to provide voters with a viable alternative.
“I do not want to see the upcoming elections characterized by fear and hate campaigns,” he said.
On Aug. 6, Ko formed the Taiwan People’s Party and pledged to support Gou if he ran for president next year, but 10 days later the mayor said he would consider running himself if Gou did not enter the race.
After the concert yesterday, Tsai Chin-yu (蔡沁瑜), one of Gou’s aides, said that an alliance with Ko and Wang would combine the strengths and expertise of the three men and offer people an alternative to the Democratic Progressive Party and the KMT.
Asked whether Gou intended to run for president, Tsai sidestepped the question, saying that Gou could have been enjoying life after retirement, but rather has been thinking about what would be “best for Taiwan.”
Gou has no immediate plans to meet with Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who beat him in the KMT primary, she added.
Separately yesterday, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said he plans to meet with Gou when the time is right.
Regarding the reports that Gou could run for president as an independent, Wu said: “It is going to be rather troublesome” as the KMT has already nominated Han as its presidential candidate.
Wang — who served as legislative speaker for 17 years — pulled out of the KMT’s presidential primary in June, but said that he would “run in the election come what may.”
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