ELECTION 2024/Gou campaign says 'anything possible' after meeting with TPP's Ko
Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) Sunday's meeting between independent presidential candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘) and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) nominee Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) shows that anything -- including a potential joint ticket between the two -- is possible before the Nov. 24 filing deadline, Gou's campaign said Monday.
Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), a Gou spokesman, made the comments to reporters about the hour-long meeting at Gou's home Sunday night, one day after Ko's negotiations on forming a joint ticket with the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) hit a brick wall due to disputes over poll results.
Huang contended that KMT Chairman Eric Chu's (朱立倫) dealings with Ko mirrored the "promise-breaking and breach of trust" he engaged in when Gou unsuccessfully sought the party's presidential nomination in May.
Given those actions, "the KMT may be on its own" in the election, Huang said.
As for Gou, preparations are being made for him to register as an independent candidate, even as talks with Ko continue. Before the Nov. 24 deadline, "any result is possible," he said.
Asked about the possibility of a Ko-Gou ticket, Huang said Gou did not have "any pre-set opinions" on the matter, and that a pairing could potentially have Ko or Gou at the top of the ticket.
Ko, Hou, Lai
Ko, meanwhile, sent mixed signals at a rally Sunday on whether he would continue seeking an alliance with the KMT, saying he would "extend utmost goodwill" to unite the opposition, but also committing to "fight to the end" as the TPP's presidential candidate.
Asked on Monday about the meeting with Gou, a Ko campaign spokesperson was similarly vague, saying the two had discussed ways to bring together the opposition and replace the current government.
The KMT, which has nominated New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) as its presidential candidate, has set a Wednesday deadline for forming a joint ticket with Ko.
If that fails, both the KMT and TPP will have to quickly announce running mates for their candidates to register by Nov. 24.
The opposition candidates will face off in the Jan. 13, 2024 election against Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party, who has consistently led the field in opinion polls.
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