Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday confirmed that he would meet with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Sunday to discuss next year’s presidential and legislative elections.
Ko has said that is concerned about having President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the KMT as the only contenders in the presidential election on Jan. 11.
Gou, who lost the KMT’s presidential primary to Han by 17 percentage points, could be the best candidate, he has said.
Amid speculation about a likely cooperation between Ko, Guo and Wang in the presidential race, Ko gave an interview to the Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine that was published yesterday and talked to reporters about it later in the day.
Asked to confirm a rumor that he would meet with Guo and Wang at a religious event in Taoyuan on Sunday, Ko said that they would make a public appearance together.
Asked if he would encourage Gou to run for president, Ko said: “We will discuss it. We will find a time for the three of us to have a good discussion on the matter.”
Ko said that he would cooperate with Guo and Wang according to the “division of labor,” not “pork-barrel politics.”
For example, he would not discuss how to assign the vice president, premier or legislator-at-large positions, Ko said, adding that he would “give them maximum space” without sacrificing his principles.
Citing Republic of China founder Sun Yat-sen’s (孫中山) definition of principle as “idea, faith and strength,” Ko said that he and Guo are still communicating their ideas.
Guo still needs to explain to him how he would avoid being affected by the KMT or Beijing, as Hon Hai has nearly 1 million employees in China, Ko added.
“When our approach to solving concerns over Taiwan corresponds with each other, we can enter a level of shared belief,” Ko said.
Asked in the interview about his plan to nominate the maximum number of candidates for 34 legislator-at-large seats through his newly formed Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), Ko said that he wants to express his will at the Legislative Yuan and form a “shadow” Cabinet, in which legislators-at-large would train for Cabinet positions.
The DPP and the KMT are not likely to win more than half of the elected legislator seats, so TPP lawmakers might be a “critical minority” that negotiates with the majority party to form a legislative coalition, Ko said, adding that there might even be the possibility of forming a coalition government.
Ko yesterday said that he knows the importance of unification and independence issues, but hopefully there will be new political thinking that emphasizing science, efficiency, integrity, trust and other values, as well as rational discussion at the legislature backed by data, instead of lawmakers throwing water balloons at each other.
In the interview, Ko said that he is worried about Han becoming president, as he is backed by Want Want China Times Media Group.
“We all know who is behind Want Want China Times — it is instructed by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office,” he said.
Gou’s campaign yesterday confirmed that aides of Gou, Ko and Wang would soon meet to discuss whether the trio would meet on Sunday.
Gou has received an invitation to the event, but has not decided whether to attend, said Amanda Liu (劉宥彤), a senior member of Gou’s campaign team and chief executive officer of the Yonglin Education Foundation.