Businessman Terry Gou may participate in the presidential elections in Taiwan, which will be held next year. The founder of the Taiwanese technology company Foxconn, which makes iPhones for Apple, among other things, has collected three times as many signatures as necessary to participate in the elections as an independent candidate.
Gou, who resigned as Foxconn boss in 2019, was required to collect about 300,000 voter signatures by November 2 to qualify, according to election rules. According to the election commission, the wealthy businessman managed to collect more than 900,000 valid signatures.
In a statement, the billionaire thanked his supporters for their “enthusiastic support” and vowed to work hard to achieve “peace across the Taiwan Strait.” Gou announced his ambition to become president in August. He then said that he wanted to unite the opposition and ensure that the island would not become “the next Ukraine”.
He accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of bringing Taiwan to the brink of war by antagonizing China. The Chinese government believes that Taiwan belongs to China and sees the island as a renegade province. The 73-year-old Gou is one of the four candidates in the elections. Opinion polls show him as the least favored candidate, lagging well behind front-runner Lai Ching-te of the DPP, who is currently vice president.
Gou previously made a bid for the presidency. In 2019, he stood as a candidate for the nationalist Kuomintang party, but that party chose a different presidential candidate in the primary election.