Former Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou, the richest man in Taiwan, has given up on his plan to run for the island’s presidency in elections scheduled for January 2020.
Gou announced his decision in a statement late on Monday, one day before the September 17 deadline to register for the race.
In a video message on Tuesday, he cited a bad election atmosphere, blaming personal and factional interests for dividing society, and said he could not bear to see his supporters being bullied.
While Gou lost that contest, he retained support among many party members. He had resigned from the party last week in what was seen as a precursor to contesting the election as an independent.
With Gou’s decision, the presidential contest will be between Han and incumbent Tsai Ing-wen.
Relations with China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province and has stepped up pressure on the island since Tsai took office in 2016, are likely to dominate the campaign.