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Ahn Chul-soo declares bid to run for Seoul mayor

Posted December. 21, 2020 07:23,   

Updated December. 21, 2020 07:23


“I am ready to sacrifice myself in the Seoul mayoral election to prevent a situation where the administration does not not change due to the opposition’s loss,” said Anh Chul-soo, head of the People’s Party. “I will run as the unified candidate for the opposition camp and take the lead in the effort to prevent the incumbent administration from continuously abusing power.” Ahn made the remarks on Sunday declaring his bid for the Seoul mayoral by-election in April next year. Ahn was considering his candidacy for the next presidential election, but has shifted his course to run for Seoul mayorship, the race for next year’s re-elections and by-elections, which are 108 days away, is picking up steam.

“If we do not judge and keep the incumbent administration in check now, the country will enter a dark age where student activists-turned politicians dominate and monopolize power forever,” Ahn told a press conference at the National Assembly on the day. “Witnessing the current situation of the Republic of Korea, I almost feel like throwing up blood, and I have thought to myself it is not the time for me to agonize over the presidential election.”

“We have to stage a fight against (the ruling camp) with a unified candidate for the broader opposition camp,” he added. “Only if we can ensure a fair competition irrespective of whoever is in favorable condition, I don’t mind whichever way of a primary race will take place.” He stopped short of elaborating a specific way to unify opposition candidates for the mayoral race.

However, main opposition People Power Party’s interim leader Kim Chong-in said, “Our party alone has five candidates (for the Seoul mayoral by-election). Ahn is one of multiple candidates.” Kim thus apparently indicated that if Ahn wishes to become the unified candidate of the opposition camp, he should join the People Power Party and undergo a competitive primary race. As such, opposition parties will likely compete each other to gain the upper hand in the race to become the unified candidate.

Woo-Yeol Choi dnsp@donga.com