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    » 12/04/2012, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    Presidential election: Ahn tells supporters to "vote for Moon"

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    Former independent candidate makes first public appearance since pulling out, says he will build his "new politics" after the 19 December vote. Current President Lee Myung-bak hopes to see the election of conservative Park Geun-hye.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - Former independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo made his first public appearance since he withdrew from the presidential race ten days ago in order to call on his supporters to back his former rival Democratic United Party (DUP) candidate Moon Jae-in. Both had decided to run but Ahn pulled out on 23 November. In an attempt to squash rumours that the two had a falling out, he said, "Please accept my wishes with a big heart and back Moon."

    On 19 December, South Korea goes to the polls to choose a new president. The current tenant of the 'Blue House,' conservative Lee Myung-bak, hopes to see Park Geun-hye, running under the banner of Saenuri Party, as his successor. Ms Park is the daughter of the late dictator Park Chung-hee and is backed by big money and staunchly pro-business and anti-North Korea groups.

    Her main adversary is Moon Jae-in, running for the Democratic United Party. He is a former chief of staff of former President Roh Moo-hyun. A practicing Catholic, he can count on the almost unanimous support of the Korean Church and more moderate groups in society.

    Surveys currently favour Park but things can change rapidly, as the executive secretary of the Bishops' Conference recently told AsiaNews.

    Now Anh's renewed support has moved his voters (about 7 per cent of the electorate) to the Moon camp. However, the Information Technology tycoon hinted at plans for his own political future after this election.

    "The election campaign has taken a step backwards. There isn't any signs of the hunger for a new politics," he said. The latter will have to wait for after the vote.

     

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    See also

    26/11/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Korea, the presidential elections "have become a struggle between good and evil"
    With the withdrawal of Independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, who has promised to support the Democrat Moon Jae-in, the contest for the vote on December 19 becomes a head-to-head challenge against the Conservative Party candidate, Park Geun-hye. The Executive Secretary of the Bishop's Conference: "On the one hand, there is the opportunity to move forward towards a better society; on the other, there's the specter of a wicked society."

    12/11/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential elections in Korea, Ahn announces: I will join Moon
    The two Democratic candidates will form a joint front against the Conservatives and demand a ceiling on election expenses. Mystery still shrouds the candidate to challenge Park: The name will only be announced after November 25.

    19/10/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential elections in Korea: If Park wins, we'll be going back centuries
    A Catholic source tells AsiaNews about the political challenge leading to the December elections: "The dictators' daughter is like her father: granitic, but also very short-sighted. The best thing would be a tandem between the other two, both very interested in the common good."

    20/12/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Church praying that Park “will do her best”
    For the bishop of Daejeon, the victory of conservative Park Geun-hye at the helm of South Korea "is one of the many signs of how God's [. . .] "thought" is "inscrutable." Catholic source says her election does not represent a major change. She is a woman but has no children. "When he was a dictator," her father, "was backed by half of the population."

    19/12/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Park Geun-hye elected new president
    In an election that saw one of the highest turnouts, projections indicate that the Saenuri (conservative) party candidate won 52.8 per cent of the vote. Daughter of a former dictator, she apologised for her father's methods but not for his achievements. Source tells AsiaNews that she must "choose between Beijing and Washington."



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