Go to contents

Opinion Poll to Field a Single Candidate Slated Today

Posted November. 22, 2002 22:43,   


The long-running efforts to field a single candidate finally bore fruits.

Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party(MDP) accepted the demand of his counterpart, Chung Mong-joon of the National Alliance 21. Chung and his party insisted that if front runner Lee Hoi-chang`s rating in the newly proposed poll stood at 5 percentage points lower than those in previous surveys, the two sides should ignore it and conduct a new one.

With the clearance of the major stumbling block, the two parties are likely to conduct a public opinion poll today at the earliest. The single candidate will be selected on Nov. 25 at the latest.

As they reached an agreement, the two presidential hopefuls held a joint TV debate, which was broadcast live for two hours yesterday evening. They discussed for 20 minutes each five major issues such as politics, economy, society, culture and foreign affairs, security and unification. A moderator ran the debate without panelists.

After signing the agreement yesterday, negotiators of the two parties told reporters that the both sides ironed out all the differences in order to prevent Lee`s supporters from voting for less competitive candidate.

Earlier, Roh held a press conference and said that I decided to accept Chung`s proposal on the biggest obstacle to nominating a single candidate. He added, "As I accepted Chung`s demand, there was no more hurdle down the road. My condition to hold a TV debate set for this evening."

Chung also said in a press conference, “It was desirable, although belated, that Roh, who rejected to approve what negotiators agreed last night, decided to accept it.”

But both sides agreed to entitle only one opinion research institute to conduct a poll and to nullify the result if Lee`s rating is lower than that in previous polls. If the result of the proposed opinion poll is been ignored, their efforts to field a single candidate could be bogged down in another stalemate.

Young-Chan Yoon Sung-Won Park yyc11@donga.com swpark@donga.com