Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly opposition might enlist popular Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu to run in its presidential primary, challenging billionaire Foxconn boss Terry Gou for the party’s candidacy. Gou, 68, said this week that he was interested in vying for the Kuomintang’s (KMT) nomination for next year’s presidential election against the island’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. Calls had been mounting for Han, who took over Kaohsiung’s top job after a surprise win late last year, to run for president without going through a primary. But critics said that this would undermine the KMT’s selection process. Han has also stressed that he is not interested in being the island’s leader. Asked on Friday whether Gou’s bid would influence the KMT’s nomination process, party chairman Wu Den-yih told POP Radio: “It would be fairer to invite or draft ... Han to run in the party’s primaries. “Han was newly elected as Kaohsiung mayor and it is not convenient for him to seek the party’s nomination [to run for president] ... It would be fairer to draft or invite him to the primaries.” Foxconn tycoon Terry Gou: Taiwan’s wealthiest man - and future presidential candidate Han sensationally overturned predictions in last year’s local elections to win Kaohsiung – a DPP stronghold in southern Taiwan – in a landslide. His popularity was widely credited with the KMT’s victory in 15 of Taiwan’s cities and counties. Returning to Taiwan on Thursday after a nine-day trip to the United States, Han repeated that a presidential bid “is not in my mind at the moment”. He described Gou as “a one-in-a-million candidate” with rare qualities, including close links to both Washington and Beijing. He also praised Gou for his business experience which he could apply to diplomacy. Han said his priority was to serve Kaohsiung’s citizens and he had no time to think of anything else. In an opinion poll released by Shih Hsin University on Thursday, Gou was a strong contender with 29 per cent support among KMT members but Han still led with 29.8 per cent. In a race between Gou, Tsai and independent Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, Gou led with 35.6 per cent, Ko had 25.2 per cent and Tsai trailed on 20.2 per cent, according to the survey. In polls taken before Gou emerged as a contender, Han led the KMT field with over 40 per cent. Other KMT members including former New Taipei mayor Eric Chu and former legislature speaker Wang Jin-pyng had also announced plans to run for the presidency but they lagged far behind Han in the polls, prompting some party stalwarts to call for Han to be drafted into the race. With a rift threatening to divide the KMT, Gou declared his bid and asked that the party return to its existing method to elect a candidate from the primaries. “If I won, I would represent the KMT to run for president. If I lost, I would give my full support to whoever represents the KMT to run,” Gou said. Pressure mounts for Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen as Foxconn’s Terry Gou reveals run for 2020 presidential race On Friday, he said the party’s primaries must be a “fair, just and open” competitive process. “It has been my personal belief to take up the challenges directly ... and only the fruit of the victory is precious.” KMT member and Taichung mayor Lu Shiow-yen warned against any divide within the party, saying both Gou and Han are popular and have their own support bases. “They should not be enemies, or it would be harmful to the KMT and undermine the KMT’s chances in next year’s poll,” Lu said.