TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Key aides to Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) visited the Central Election Commission (CEC) together Tuesday (September 10) in what analysts saw as one step closer to a Gou presidential candidacy.
The delegation reportedly also included representatives of former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who announced a bid for the presidency earlier but did not take part in Kuomintang (KMT) primaries.
Independent candidates or candidates from new parties, such as Ko’s Taiwan People’s Party founded last month, have until September 17 to register their intention to run for president in the January 11, 2020 elections.
Speaking to a crowd of reporters outside the CEC, Gou camp spokeswoman Evelyn Tsai (蔡沁瑜) and Ko confidante Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如) said they were only visiting to understand the details of registering a candidacy, and no decision had yet been reached about whether or not to proceed.
Candidates who cannot count on sponsorship by a political party already established at the previous presidential and legislative elections in January 2016 have to collect more than 280,384 endorsements by the public and deliver them to the CEC by November 2, while also pay a deposit of NT$1 million (US$32,000).
While no final decision about the shape of their eventual cooperation had been made, Tsai Pi-ju said Ko would most likely play a supporting role in the campaign, the Liberty Times reported. She said there was no final word yet on whether the Taipei mayor would serve as Gou’s vice-presidential candidate or as his campaign manager.
The tycoon’s spokeswoman said that time was a pressing issue, as the September 13-15 Mid-Autumn holiday would still shorten the period left to reach a decision and register.
CEC officials said the payment of the deposit and the taking of registration documents could happen from September 13 until 17, with the collection of endorsements only allowed from September 19.