On the first day of registration for preliminary presidential candidates, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea fielded former party leader Lee Nak-yeon and former Prime Minister Chung Se-gyun, with former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl and the opposition People Power Party’s Yoo Seung-min finishing their registration. As the signup kicks off, the political atmosphere is turning hot towards the presidential election next year.
The registration for preliminary candidates began on Monday, 240 days prior to the presidential election, and it will close on February 12 next year. Some of the major candidates from the ruling party including Lee Nak-yeon and Chung Se-gyun, who completed the primaries (cutoffs) a day earlier, successfully signed up for presidential candidacy through proxies.
Lee Jae-myung, the incumbent Gyeonggi governor and a major presidential candidate from the ruling party, is planning to keep his official post for now while participating in the ruling party’s official primary. While lawmakers can apply for candidacy while in post, public officials like Governor Lee must first step down from their post before registration. Once his candidacy is confirmed, it is reported that Lee will retire as governor before around December 9, exactly 90 days prior to the presidential election.
“We will establish fairness and common sense for a new Korea and build it along with our people,” said former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl after having completed the registration through Former Chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination Lee Seok-joon, adding that he will make a country that truly serves its people. Yoo Seung-min also vowed to become a “competent president who tackles the issues of the times head-on.”
Those who finished registration of preliminary presidential candidacy can assemble an association of sponsors and raise a fund worth 2.5 billion and 65.45 million won, accounting for 5% of the cap on election expenses (51 billion and 39 million won). They are also permissioned to set up an office, hire around 10 paid campaign workers and partially launch electioneering activities such as distribution of business cards and the wearing of candidates’ sash. A preliminary candidate must contribute 60 million won for trust money.
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