Ko-Gou-Wang meeting Sunday not in the cards

2019/08/16 22:15:40 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Amanda Liu (劉宥彤)

Amanda Liu (劉宥彤)

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) A possible meeting between three influential figures who could team up to present a third force in the 2020 presidential election against Taiwan's two major parties seemed unlikely Friday after two of them showed no interest in the event.

It had been rumored that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) and former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) might see each other at a Buddhist ceremony in Taoyuan on Sunday in a symbolic gesture suggesting an alliance.

As of Friday, however, Ko is likely the only one of the three who will attend.

Amanda Liu (劉宥彤), a senior member of Gou's campaign team in his unsuccessful bid to win the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) presidential primary in July, said Friday that chances are low that Gou will go.

Wang, who pulled out of the KMT primary in June, said he would not be able to take part in the Taoyuan event due to a tight schedule Sunday.

Since Gou lost the KMT primary to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), meaning he could not represent the KMT in the 2020 presidential race, speculation has grown that he would run for president on his own.

There have been hints that he would try to team up with the Taipei mayor as a third force in the presidential race. Ko said in a radio interview Friday that he declined an appeal by Gou to serve as his running mate on a presidential ticket.

On Aug. 6, Ko formed the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) and said he would support Gou for president in 2020, but he said Friday he would consider running himself were Gou not to run.

The KMT, meanwhile, is trying to somehow keep Gou in the fold. Gou met with KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) on Thursday and has agreed to a meeting with KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).

The meeting will give the pundits more room for speculation, but Gou himself suggested not to read too much into meetings that are or are not taking place.

"I'm not looking for fame or money, and I don't need to bow to anyone or to be arranged," Gou said on Friday, adding, "I am committed to creating benefits for Taiwan's 23 million people."

(By Flor Wang, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Yu Hsiang-shin)
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