creepy Han Kuo-yu masks now because the populist mayor of Kaohsiung has just won the Kuomintang (KMT) primary poll to become the party’s candidate in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election.veryone pick up your
The 57-year-old politician won 44.8 percent of the vote in a phone poll conducted by the KMT last week, soundly defeating his closest rival, Foxconn founder Terry Gou, who managed only 27.7 percent.
Han will face off against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) incumbent Tsai Ing-wen. However, this election appears likely to be more complicated than simply another contest between the China-friendly KMT versus the independence-leaning DPP.
A four-way race?
The loss leaves Gou, Taiwan’s richest man with an estimated net worth of $7.8 billion, contemplating an independent run for the presidency. The tycoon has already seemingly gone “all in” for the position, resigning as chairman of Foxconn after claiming to have received encouragement for his run from the sea goddess Matsu.
If Gou does run as an independent, it could well split the KMT. Meanwhile, Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je is strongly considering an independent run of his own as a sort of middle option between the KMT and DPP.
Rather than ruining each other’s chances, it’s also possible that Gou and Ko could join forces.
How about Han?
All of these scenarios would appear catastrophic for Han Kuo-yu who has experienced a meteoric rise after being elected Mayor of Kaohsiung last December. For two decades, the city had been a KMT stronghold.
Han himself was first elected to Taiwan’s legislature in 1992 but left politics in 2002 and lived jobless for years before becoming the general manager of an agricultural company, a position he didn’t resign until 2017.
His rise has been helped along by pro-China “red media,” particularly those outlets run by Tsai Eng-meng, the chairman of the ubiquitous snack food company Want Want China who also owns a pair of Taiwanese television networks, CTi TV and CTV, along with theChina Times newspaper.
Terry Gou has accused of Tsai Eng-meng of wanting to play “kingmaker” in Taiwan’s election for Beijing. Last month, tens of thousands braved the rain and took to the streets of Taipei to protest against “red media.”