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Former Governor Sohn’s Campaign at Stake

Posted September. 20, 2007 07:51,   


The election camp of former Gyeonggi governor Sohn Hak-gyu was busy implementing countermeasures in a shocked mood yesterday.

The majority view in the party is that any blow to Sohn will be aggravated if his opponent, former party-chair Chung Dong-young, with his strong organizational power, continues to show good results in the competitive election in Gwangju and Jeonnam scheduled for September 29 after the Chuseok holidays (among an electoral college voter total of 246,518), and in the competitive election scheduled on October 6 (among a voter total of 207,494 people).

Analysts say that a reversal is likely, considering the size of the electoral college (493,492 people) in the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon region, Sohn’s power base.

Advisers are also pinning their hopes on mobile voting, where the “power of mobilization” appears to have relatively weaker influence.

Within the camp, some are also raising voices for introspection, saying, “There still remains an opportunity to overturn the situation, but in a separate context, we need to fully revise the campaign methods we’ve used so far.”

They also argue that they were leaning on the relatively good results of polls in the past. Some also point out that the former governor is not distinguishable from other candidates in the ruling circle because he has few unique policies.

A core person related to the camp said, “[We] knew from the beginning that former governor Sohn did not have a big group of supporters of his own in the ruling circle. We should have provided an impressive reason for his candidacy by emphasizing why former governor Sohn is indispensable to the backers of the ruling circle, but we were not successful in this.”

Another person related to the camp showed signs of regret, saying, “[Former governor Sohn] was not wrong when he said that Gwangju should be overcome to reach out to the world, that his past record as a Grand National Party man was being helpful, or that the Kim Young-sam administration was the first democratic regime in South Korea, but such comments are not appropriate for a competitive election concentrating on the Honam region.”

Accordingly, the camp plans to come up with policies that can provide Sohn with distinctiveness and to announce them by the Gwangju•Jeonnam election on September 29, or by the Jeonbuk election on October 6 at the latest.