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Parties Look ‘Outside’ for Candidates

Posted March. 02, 2006 03:12,   


The ruling Uri Party is focusing its resources on attracting renowned outside figures for the upcoming Metropolitan Seoul area local elections that observers believe will be some of the hottest election races of the season.

It has already secured Minister of Information and Communication Jin Dae-je for its candidate for governor of Gyeonggi Province, and is hopeful that Kang Geum-sil, former justice minister, will accept its nomination for the post of Seoul mayor. The party has been working on getting her consent.

For its Incheon mayoral race candidate, it is putting its hopes on Kang Dong-suk, the former minister of Construction and Transportation. “It’s not yet certain, but hopeful,” a party official said.

In the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP), four Seoul mayoral hopefuls are competing for the candidacy: lawmaker Hong Joon-pyo, Park Jin, Park Gye-dong, and Maeng Hyung-kyu, who resigned from the National Assembly on January 31.

The GNP is delaying its appointment of a candidate for Seoul mayor until April if possible. As the Uri Party is in no hurry to select its candidates, it is not necessary for the GNP to reveal its own cards first. By announcing its candidate later, the GNP hopes to draw public attention to its primary candidate selection process.

It is still searching for Seoul mayoral race candidates outside the party. The most likely figure is Ahn Chul-soo, an anti-virus computer software expert.

There are four possible GNP candidates for the post of Gyeonggi Province governor: Kim Moon-soo, Kim Young-sun, Jeon Jae-hee, and Rhee-Q Taek. They are all incumbent GNP members of the National Assembly.

The battle for the party’s Incheon mayoral race nomination is led by Ahn Sang-soo, the incumbent mayor of Incheon. He is being challenged by Park Sang-eun, the ambassador of economic and trade affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

There is still the possibility of other figures outside the party being appointed as candidates as well.