DUP’s preliminary race kicks off
By Kim Se-jeong
The main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP)’s preliminary race to pick five candidates out of eight will start today. The so-called cutoff race will continue until July 30.
Until Saturday the race will consist of five televised debates and four joint campaign speeches, followed by public polls on July 29 and 30 conducted on party members and randomly selected citizens.
The main primary will begin in August after the five are chosen in the first round, and the winner of the DUP race will be determined in late September.
The DUP announced to hold a run-off election between the frontrunner and a runner-up if no candidates garner 50 percent of the support in the main race.
Rep. Moon Jae-in, former presidential chief of staff under the late former President Roh Moo-hyun government, is the frontrunner at the moment. Others
joining the preliminary race include Sohn Hak-kyu, the former DUP leader; Kim Doo-kwan, former South Gyeongsang Province governor; and Rep. Chung Sye-kyun, a three-term lawmaker who served as the party’s chief.
On Sunday, Chung unveiled his intentions regarding educational policy. He promised to fight against soaring household spending on private tutoring.
Recent polls show Moon trails behind the conservative front-runner Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri Party, and Ahn Cheol-soo, a popular software mogul and professor who has not yet actually declared his bid.
The DUP’s process to endorse a leading presidential candidate is a big unknown, contingent on Ahn’s future moves.
If he runs, he will rise as a leading hopeful, placing a big setback for Moon.
Last Friday when Ahn’s book was released, Moon welcomed it, saying Ahn and the DUP have a great deal in common fundamentals.
Moon has made a public invitation to the software mogul before, suggesting Ahn be his running mate, but this was not embraced.