DUP urges Ahn to make decision
By Kim Susan Se-jeong
Members of the Democratic United Party (DUP) are urging Ahn Cheol-soo to make a decision soon regarding his presidential candidacy.
Chairman of the DUP, Lee Hae-chan, said on a CBS radio show broadcast Monday that it is already late for the software mogul-turned professor to enter the race for presidency.
“It is a little late (for Ahn),” he said about the Seoul National University professor. Considering this, he commented that it would be best for Ahn to make his intentions clear “as soon as possible.”
“According to what I have heard, Ahn is preparing to declare his candidacy,” he said on the program. “But I do not think there has been internal discussion on when he will do it and who will be his allies.”
Lee said that opposition parties must band together to have a good chance against the ruling Saenuri Party, emphasizing the need to agree on a single candidate. “Each candidate’s competitive edge is important, but the opposition must band together to win,” he said.
In terms of selecting a single candidate, he commented, “A one-shot election (in which Ahn and DUP candidates compete at the same time) is best, but we cannot keep waiting since Ahn is not making his position clear.”
As for a deadline, he added that a “one-shot” election will only be possible if Ahn makes his decision by mid-July.
But while this could be on the agenda, the three potential candidates from the DUP, Moon Jae-in, Kim Doo-kwan and Sohn Hak-kyu share differing opinions on the election format.
Moon is supportive of having Ahn take part in the presidential candidate elections from the start. At a press conference in Yeouido, Seoul, he said “there is nothing to put (Ahn) at a disadvantage if he decides to participate in the election from the very beginning.” He believes that if millions of citizens participate in mobile voting, it does not matter whether or not the candidate is from a party or not.
On the other hand, Kim and Sohn seem more supportive of selecting the leading opposition candidate first, then putting Ahn in the picture if he decides to contend.
During a KBS radio program, Kim has said that the party had anticipated and suggested that Ahn join the DUP. He now believes it is the time to “strengthen the party first.”
Sohn has said that going to Ahn expresses a lack of confidence in the DUP. “Ahn is a variable, not a constant,” he said on a CBS radio program. “It is like saying, ‘I have no power on my own…I will join hands with Ahn, so please support me.’”
Ahn is rumored to have presidential ambitions, but he has not made any firm comments on whether or not will become a candidate.