Moon Jae-in set to declare presidential bid
By Kim Se-jeong
Moon Jae-in, a senior advisor to the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) and a leading presidential contender, invited Ahn Cheol-soo once again to join his election campaign, Sunday.
“I made up my mind (to run for the presidential election)... Ahn and I share similar values and ideology,” Moon told local journalists in the southwestern city of Gwangju.
“I believe the alliance will be a solid ground for winning the election in December and ushering in necessary reform afterward.”
This is not the first time Moon has made this proposal to Ahn, a Seoul National University professor and software mogul who is viewed as a prospective presidential candidate. Ahn has not responded to the latest invitation.
A coalition between the two could be a game changer as it would significantly improve Moon’s chance of defeating Park Geun-hye, interim leader of the ruling Saenuri Party.
Observers say it will not be easy for him to persuade Ahn, who could succeed in the presidential race without the support of the DUP after having witnessed surprisingly wide public support as an independent candidate in the Seoul mayoral race last year before he withdrew.
Ahn has yet to publicly express his intent to run for president, but insiders say he will eventually join the race.
Moon is expected to declare his bid after the DUP’s National Convention on June 9, where the party will elect new leadership, including a chairman and decision making Supreme Council members.
The Saenuri Party plans to elect new leaders at its National Convention on Tuesday. Nine members of the governing party are competing for the conservative party’s top posts, including Rep. Hwang Woo-yea, a former floor leader; Rep. Shim Jae-chul, an English teacher-turned legislator; and Rep. Yoo Ki-joon, a three-term lawmaker.