Former KMT Chairman Eric Liluan Chu (center) speaking to reporters Saturday September 14.

Former KMT Chairman Eric Liluan Chu (center) speaking to reporters Saturday September 14. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman and 2016 presidential candidate Eric Liluan Chu (朱立倫) is at present unwilling to run for vice president in the January 2020 elections, reports said Saturday (September 14).

As the January 11 polls approach, speculation has been mounting about KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) choice of running mate. Chu has been seen by some as a more conventional and quiet counterweight to Han’s abrasive populist persona, commentators said.

However, Chu said Saturday that people should not use “an inexistent matter” to attack both men, the Central News Agency reported. He added that he would help out with the campaign in 2020 but would not seek any official appointments, a comment also seen as a reference to the vice-presidential candidacy.

Chu’s office later clarified his statements by saying a Han-Chu ticket did not exist at present, but that communication between the two leading KMT members was close.
Han echoed the remark, emphasizing positive ties to the previous presidential candidate.

Chu was not planning to attend a Mid-Autumn Festival event for Taiwanese doing business in China scheduled for Taipei on Sunday (September 15), while Han would be present together with most senior KMT politicians, according to CNA.

The KMT faces problems in the shape of falling opinion poll ratings for Han and the possible imminent candidacy of Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘).

The tycoon announced his withdrawal from the KMT earlier in the week and is widely expected to declare his intention to run for president by the official deadline of September 17 at the latest.