Taipei, July 15 (CNA) Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) will represent the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in the 2020 presidential election, after beating his closest challenger, former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), by nearly 20 percent in the party's primary.
Announcing the results at a press conference in Taipei Monday, KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said Han's support rate averaged 44.805 percent in the five different polls that were conducted nationwide July 8-14.
Gou, the runner-up, received an average 27.73 percent support in the polls, which was conducted by five independent polling organizations and collected a total of 15,185 valid samples via landline phone calls, Tseng said.
Among the other contenders, former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) gained an average 17.90 percent support rate, former Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) 6.02 percent, and National Taiwan University professor Chang Ya-chung's (張亞中) 3.54 percent.
At the press conference, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) congratulated Han on winning an "open, fair and transparent" primary.
In turn, Han thanked the KMT and the other contenders, saying he felt no joy at the results.
Han said he now has to face the challenge of representing the KMT in a race against the incumbent, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The performance of the Tsai administration over the past three years, however, has been "disappointing," Han said, pledging to offer the Taiwanese people a brighter future.
In response to reporters' questions, Han said he remains the mayor of Kaohsiung City and will continue to do his job to fulfill his election promises.
Chou and Chang were also at the press conference, while Chu and Gou did not attend.
According to the KMT's website, the primary poll not only compared the popularity of the five presidential hopefuls against each other but also pitted each of them in a hypothetical three-way race against Tsai and independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who is seen likely to join the race.
The first comparison accounted for 15 percent of the final polling results, while the second one accounted for 85 percent of the score, according to the KMT.
Han won the primary by securing double-digit leads over the other KMT competitors and in the hypothetical three-way contest against President Tsai and Ko, the poll showed.
The KMT Central Standing Committee is expected to ratify the results of the primary on Wednesday, and the party will formally name its 2020 presidential candidate at its national congress on July 28.