Han wins KMT primary poll for Taiwan presidential race

Han Kuo-yu wins KMT primary poll for 2020 Taiwan presidential race with 44% of the vote

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Itinerant Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has officially won the Kuomingtang's (KMT) nationwide poll to select its candidate for the 2020 Taiwan presidential race, with over 44 percent of the vote.

After a nationwide poll was conducted by phone last week, KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) announced at a press conference this morning (July 15) that Han took 44.805 percent of the vote, easily defeating his closest rival, Foxconn tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘), who received 27.73 percent. Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) came in third at 17.9 percent, followed by former Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) at 6.02 percent and National Taiwan University professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), who held up the rear at 3.544 percent.

The poll was conducted from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day from July 8 to July 14, with the aim of collecting 15,000 samples from a pool of more than six million phone numbers. The KMT poll only included landline phones, in contrast to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which incorporated cell phones into its primary poll.

After the DPP's primary was held in June, incumbent Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) defeated her rival former Premier William Lai (賴清德) by 8.2 percentage points, taking 35.6768 percent of the vote. Now that the two main rival parties have completed their nomination processes, Taiwan's presidential race is shaping up to be a showdown between Tsai and Han.

In anticipation of Han's win, Gou earlier said he would make a major announcement about his political future today, with members of the media expecting he might leave the KMT and mount a separate bid for the January 11, 2020 elections as an independent. Also waiting in the wings is Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who media reports suggested on Thursday (July 11) would launch a run if Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) won the KMT primaries.