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Roh Moo-hyun Selected Unified Presidential Candidate

Posted November. 25, 2002 11:41,   


Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), was selected as the unified candidate of the MDP and People`s Unity 21 (PU21). Thus, Roh will confront, in the Dec. 19th presidential election, Lee Hoi-chang, the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party.

As the MDP and the PU21 decided to put up Roh as the single unified candidate on Nov. 25th, the upcoming presidential race will be run between two major candidates and, thereby, campaigning will get more heated.

Opinion polls determined who would be the unified candidate of both parties. To conduct the polls, Roh and Chong, the former candidate of the PU21, selected Research & Research and World Research. The two firms selected randomly 2,000 people nationwide and conducted the inquiry. The result made public by Research & Research showed that Roh was favored by 46.8% of the people who answered, while Chong gained 42.2% of favorable answers.

Roh also exceeded Chong in the research conducted by World Research, winning 38.8% of the subjects, whereas 37.0% of the research participants favored Chong. Nonetheless, this result was not counted in, due to a prior agreement of both parties. Under the agreement, if a research should prove the approving rate of a winning candidate is lower than candidate Lee`s lowest one (i.e. 30.4%), which in turned is figured out in the latest poll, then the research result would not be counted. Therefore, the ratings found through World Research`s poll were nullified.

After the announcement of his winning, Roh held a press conference at the MDP`s headquarters in Youido. He said, "I first have to express my gratitude to Mr. Chong. It was hard to predict what would be brought about in the polls. Nonetheless, he agreed to the `candidate unification.` In addition, upon the announcement, he sent me a message and congratulated me, and promised his cooperation in the upcoming presidential race. I really appreciate it." Chong also held a news conference at his headquarters and celebrated Roh`s selection. Chong clearly demonstrated his intention to comply with what the polls have brought about, and promised his endorsement and support for Roh during campaigning.

Representatives of both parties held a joint press conference at around 10 minutes past the midnight at the Renaissance Hotel in Seoul, and pronounced, "Pursuant to the agreements by and between two camps, only one research was certified valid, and the research selected Roh the unified candidate of us."

MDP`s representative, Shin Gye-ryoon explained, "We have agreed that, if a candidate should win in both polls, the winner would take all. If either of the candidates should win only one, it would end up with a tie. On the other hand, in case a candidate should win a research with the approving rate that is lower than the latest rate of candidate Lee, then the research result would be nullified."

Both parties originally intended to conduct each set of polls with three research firms. But, major pollsters refused their offer, causing huge troubles for both camps. As a contingency plan, they agreed to conduct three polls one by one if the previous poll should fail to determine the winner. The result of the first poll, however, definitively selected the winner.

It has been known that the people were asked, "Which of the two, Roh Moo-hyun or Chong Mong-jun, or Chong Mong-jun or Roh Moo-hyun, do you support as a candidate who could win over Lee Hoi-chang in the upcoming presidential election?"

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