Taipei City mayor might ask PFP leader James Soong to nominate him

Foxconn founder Terry Gou has until September 17 to declare independent presidential candidacy

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Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (second from left) meeting PFP Chairman James Soong (center, with orange tie) last year.

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (second from left) meeting PFP Chairman James Soong (center, with orange tie) last year. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – If Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) does not run for president, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Friday (August 30) he might ask People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to nominate him as a presidential candidate.

As the September 17 deadline for presidential candidacies approaches, Gou has still not publicly announced his intentions. In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, Ko said that if Gou did not run, he might ask Soong to have his PFP nominate him as its presidential candidate.

Since the PFP is an existing political party which won seats in the 2016 legislative elections, it can nominate a presidential contender without having to gather 280,000 endorsements from the public, something Ko would have to do since his Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) was only founded earlier this month.

Reacting to Ko’s comments, a PFP official said that if such a nomination were to happen, both sides would have to sit down first to talk, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

Aides to Gou, who returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia Friday, told reporters that if the tycoon were to run for president, he would do so as an independent, and he would announce his decision before September 17. The comments were a response to media speculation that Soong would nominate Gou as a PFP candidate to give him more time to prepare, according to CNA.

In the CommonWealth interview, Ko referred to his professional background to explain why he still had not made up his mind about running in the January 11, 2020 presidential election. “I’m a trauma surgeon; we all make our decisions at the last possible second,” he told the magazine.