《TAIPEI TIMES》 Hou, Ko to run separately, as Gou quits
Supporters of the Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） gather outside KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday, as party officials decide on a vice presidential candidate. Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
THREE-WAY RACE: Hou You-yi said until the last minute he hoped to run with Ko Wen-je, but the latter did not pick up the phone when he called to make a final pitch
/ Staff writer, with CNA
The Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） and Taiwan People’s Party （TPP） registered their own candidates yesterday after a breakdown in coalition talks, while independent candidate Terry Gou （郭台銘） dropped out, setting up a three-way race for the presidential election in January.
TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je （柯文哲） was the first to officially register his candidacy with the Central Election Commission in Taipei yesterday, shortly after naming TPP Legislator Cynthia Wu （吳欣盈） as his running mate.
Wu, the daughter of former Shin Kong Financial Holding Co （新光金控） chairman Eugene Wu （吳東進）, is a TPP legislator-at-large who was appointed in November last year and had served previously as vice president of Shin Kong Life Insurance Co （新光人壽）.
About an hour after Ko, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi （侯友宜）, the KMT candidate, registered at the commission after naming Broadcasting Corp of China （中廣） chairman Jaw Shaw-kong （趙少康） as the party’s vice presidential pick.
Jaw, 73, had parted ways with the KMT in 1993 to form the New Party, in what was a split from the KMT by members of a faction known as the New KMT Alliance.
However, Jaw’s KMT membership was restored in February 2021, as he was seen by some influential members as a prime candidate for the party’s chairmanship and next year’s presidential ticket.
The registrations officially ended the KMT’s bid over the past months to team up with the TPP on a joint opposition ticket in an effort to defeat the Democratic Progressive Party （DPP）.
Gou, founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co （鴻海精密）, known internationally as Foxconn, announced his withdrawal from the election hours before the registration deadline in a brief statement.
Gou did not provide a specific reason, saying that such a decision was “for the future of the Republic of China.”
With the registration deadline past, the election on Jan. 13 is to be a three-way race between the candidates of the KMT and the TPP, and the DPP candidates Vice President William Lai （賴清德） and former representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim （蕭美琴）.
At a news conference yesterday, Hou lauded Jaw as “the most formidable, capable and combat-ready candidate.”
Hou also said that up until the last minute, Jaw had been hoping that the KMT would reach an agreement with Ko on a joint ticket.
Hou said that he had personally called Ko to make a final pitch for a KMT-TPP alliance, but “the call was not answered.”
KMT Chairman Eric Chu （朱立倫） said that although it was humiliating, he and Hou had tried to push for a joint ticket with the TPP.
Chu called for solidarity within the KMT, and urged the members to work toward the common goal of getting Hou elected.
Separately, Ko yesterday said that as the “leader of Taiwan’s opposition parties,” he felt duty bound to enter the election against a ruling party that is “increasingly out of touch with the people and progressive values.”
Taiwan has been plagued by stagnant wages, high housing prices and high rent, with healthcare and labor insurance systems under financial strain, Ko said.
Shortages of labor, land, talent, electricity and water have caused many to become disillusioned and stop pursuing their dreams, he said.
Maintaining the “status quo” in the Strait and pursuing peace is the “common denominator” shared by Taiwan, China and the US, Ko said.
Regarding his running mate, Ko said that Wu had graduated from prestigious colleges in the US and the UK, and had served as the executive director at the Shin Kong Life Foundation.
Wu’s nomination was decided by the TPP’s election committee in a vote, Ko said.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi, left, sits next to Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong at the Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） headquarters in Taipei yesterday, after the party announced Jaw would be Hou’s running mate. Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Taiwan People’s Party （TPP） Chairman Ko Wen-je, right, holds up his candidacy registration form with his running mate, Cynthia Wu, at the Central Election Commission in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Tien Yu-hua, Taipei Times