TAIPEI (TVBS News) — After securing enough signatures to make a bid for the 2024 Taiwan presidential election, Foxconn founder Terry Gou stunned his followers, commonly known as "Gou fans," with an announcement of his withdrawal from the election race on Friday (Nov. 24).
This unexpected move came just as the registration for the presidential and legislative elections closed. Many streets in Chiayi City were still adorned with banners soliciting signatures in support of Gou, yet to be taken down.
The general secretary of the Chiayi-based "Friends of A-Ming" group, also the director of the "Chiayi City Chamber of Commerce" Hsiao Chiu-yung, stated that they respected Gou's decision to withdraw for the greater good.
This declaration of respect came even as supporters expressed their disappointment and sadness over the withdrawal.
In a recent television broadcast in Chiayi City, Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih read a text message from Taiwan People's Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je, urging Gou to drop out of the race, a request that led to discontent among Gou's supporters.
Earlier in August, Gou participated in the inaugural meeting of the "Friends of A-Ming" in Chiayi, founded by KMT Central Standing Committee member Huang Wen-chang. Following the announcement of Tammy Lai as Gou's running mate in September, he once again visited Chiayi and campaigned at the Wenhua Road Night Market.
Chiayi County's Taibao City and Chiayi City hosted four petition stations in support of Gou, organized and managed by Hsiao.
He revealed that he was not forewarned about Gou's decision, though their efforts had successfully reached the petition threshold. He remarked that the "Friends of A-Ming" consider their mission accomplished, expressing reverence for the electoral process.
In his withdrawal statement, Gou addressed his unwavering spirit on the global business stage and his unchanged love for Taiwan's people.
He highlighted the critical nature of victory and the transformative potential of a regime change for Taiwan, indicating that an unwillingness to compromise is unacceptable for Taiwanese desiring a political turnover.