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Moon urges quick talks on unifying opposition candidate

Posted October. 28, 2012 23:26,   


Korea`s presidential election is just 51 days away but whom the liberal camp will choose as its unified candidate remains uncertain.

The main opposition Democratic United Part`s candidate Moon Jae-in and independent runner Ahn Cheol-soo continued their war of nerves Sunday to gain the upper hand in the competition to become the unified candidate.

Moon’s side urged that discussions not be delayed further for the two men to unify the candidate prior to the candidate registration dates (Nov. 25 and 26). Lee Mok-hee, chief of the party’s planning office, presented four principles for fielding a single candidate: the need for unification, a value-based coalition through policies as its link, a competitive primary through a public method of mobilizing ordinary people, and running for the presidency using the winner`s party affiliation in the primary.

Moon had previously refrained from making provocative comments that could be deemed offensive to Ahn, but criticized item by item the policy reforms suggested by Ahn Sunday. In the “Gwangju Declaration” made in Gwangju, Moon said, “Reducing the scope of public posts appointed by the president could reinforce the privilege of top government officials and high-level elite group, and consolidate a structure in which privilege could be reproduced,” criticizing Ahn’s plan to reduce the number of public posts appointed by the president.

Ahn’s side is expected not to discuss the single candidate proposal until comprehensive policy pledges are announced Nov. 10. A source from the Ahn camp said, “If we hurriedly start discussions for candidate unification at a time when specific policy measures have yet to be presented, the public could construe this as collusion,” adding, “Now is time for candidates to faithfully run as individuals.”

But most observers say the two candidates will come to the negotiating table because they both share the goal of blocking ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye from taking power.

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