Foxconn founder may quit KMT to run for Taiwan president

Terry Gou is reportedly going to announce this week his bid to run for office as an independent

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Former Foxconn Technology Chairman Terry Gou.

Former Foxconn Technology Chairman Terry Gou. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) is reportedly quitting the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) to run for president as an independent, which will catapult the election into a tripartite confrontation.

ETtoday said that Gou, who suffered a defeat to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the KMT primaries, is preparing a statement to leave the KMT on Friday (Sept. 13), citing sources familiar with the matter. The tycoon has expressed disappointment with the party, which he believes is behind the times, said the sources.

Polls have suggested that Gou stands a chance of winning if an alliance is forged with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), wrote the report. A Gou-Ko alliance is projected to secure 27 to 33 percent support, pitted against incumbent Tsai Ing-wen’s 26 to 31 percent, and Han’s 24 to 28 percent.

Gou was also buoyed by the promising results of an internal analysis from his own camp, which believes 12 percent of the approximately 30 percent support he enjoys will shift to Tsai, and 8 percent to Han. This means he is likely to make some gains in his bid to woo voters from the so-called pan-green group, wrote ETtoday.

Gou’s camp has reportedly commissioned tech guru John Hsuan (宣明智) to develop a mobile app and collect the signatures required for him to run as an independent. An independent for the 2020 election would need to secure 280,384 signatures, or 1.5 percent of the electorate from the previous legislative election to qualify, said Liberty Times.

In interviews with Japanese media over the past weekend, Gou strongly expressed his intention to join the presidential race and described himself as being on an equal footing with the other contenders. By law, he must register for the election by Sept. 17.