DPP lawmakers hold mixed views on Gou's exit from presidential race
Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers expressed mixed views Tuesday about the withdrawal of business tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘) from the 2020 presidential race, with some welcoming the decision.
DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said he had hoped that Gou would drop out because President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) chances would improve in a straight contest against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the major opposition Kuomintang (KMT).
DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) expressed a similar view, saying that with Gou out of the running, Tsai is more likely to defeat Han on Jan 11, 2020.
Gou would have diverted votes from both the DPP and the KMT, Chen said, adding that several polls had shown Tsai, Han and Gou neck and neck in a three-way competition.
However, DPP legislative caucus director-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said his party had put in place different strategies for the election, whether it was a two-way or three-way contest.
What is most important for the DPP is to perform well and let the people know what it has achieved, he said.
Another DPP lawmaker Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) said it is hard to judge the impact of Gou's decision on the ruling party, with more than 100 days to go before the presidential election and still many variables ahead.
Earlier Tuesday, Gou, founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., apologized to his supporters for giving up all intentions to run for president in January 2020, in a video clip posted on his Facebook page.
Gou bowed to the public and said that after deep deliberation Monday night, he had decided to drop out of the race.
His statement ended two months of speculation that he might seek to run for president as an independent after he resigned from the KMT on Sept. 12, following his defeat by Han in the party's primary in July.
Gou's contemplation of a run as an independent candidate had given rise to worry within the KMT of internal divisions and a split vote next January, amid its struggle to regain power.
KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) welcomed Gou's decision to back down and said he hoped Gou would be willing to cooperate with the KMT in the legislative elections, which will be held alongside the presidential poll.
The opposition party's Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), meanwhile, tried to quash rumors that he was the one who had persuaded Gou to quit the presidential race.
Gou made the decision on his own to compete in the KMT primary in July and also to drop his bid for the presidency, Hau said Tuesday.
No matter what, Gou is welcome to rejoin the KMT, Hau said, adding that Han should seek Gou's support in the election campaign.
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