Foxconn billionaire Terry Gou drops Taiwan presidential bidhttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/foxconn-billionaire-terry-gou-drops-taiwan-presidential-bid-6001787/

Foxconn billionaire Terry Gou drops Taiwan presidential bid

Gou’s withdrawal gives the two candidates from the main parties a clearer run in the election. Tsai leads with 49% of support, compared with 42% for Han, according to a survey released by TVBS last week.

Foxconn's chip boss tipped to be Taiwanese group's next chairman
Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou sees a turning point for Taiwan in terms of politics. (File)

Written by Debby Wu

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn Technology Group, pulled out of next year’s presidential election in Taiwan, a move that may help unite the opposition Kuomintang party. Gou apologized to his supporters in a statement late Monday outlining his decision to withdraw from the race as an independent. He quit the KMT last week and was widely expected to announce a presidential run ahead of the Tuesday deadline for registration.

“Although I will not take part in this presidential election, that doesn’t mean I have given up politics,” he said in the statement. “I will continue to push for the policies I’ve proposed.”

Gou could still run as a candidate for one of Taiwan’s established political parties.

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Gou’s candidacy threatened to sap support for the KMT’s Han Kuo-yu, who will challenge President Tsai Ing-wen in the Jan. 11 election. KMT leaders including Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, had urged Gou up until the last minute to support their nominee and help return the China-friendly party to power.

Gou’s withdrawal gives the two candidates from the main parties a clearer run in the election. Tsai leads with 49% of support, compared with 42% for Han, according to a survey released by TVBS last week.

Tsai could still face increased competition for voters who favor a stronger push for the island’s formal independence. Former Vice President Annette Lu announced her intention to run as an independent. Lu served as vice president under Chen Shui-bian between 2000 and 2008.