The Korea Herald


Main opposition fans speculations on Ahn’s merger, forfeiture

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Feb. 9, 2022 - 14:58

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People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and People's Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo (Yonhap) People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and People's Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo (Yonhap)
Main opposition People Power Party is fanning talks of alliances and forfeiture involving People’s Party’s Ahn Cheol-soo, in an apparent bid to raise pressure on the minor opposition candidate.

While Ahn himself has ruled out merging his campaign with that of People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol, and reiterated time and again that he will see the campaign through, the main opposition has publicly mentioned possibility of an alliance, stressing the need for a change of power.

Lee Jun-seok, chairman of People Power Party, suggested Ahn may already be considering dropping out.

“Based on our intelligence, Ahn does not seem to be in a situation to finish the election race,” Lee said on a radio show Wednesday.

“When the official election campaign begins, campaign buses would run, placards would go up and some 250 party offices across the nation. Candidates who hope to run the race and win would have to invest significantly in this,” he said. “But we have not detected much movements from Ahn.”

“I predict (Ahn) would make a decision before (the candidate registration),” Lee added.

People’s Party denied Lee’s claim, saying the party chairman is using a “broken radar.”

“Everyone except Lee knows (about the People’s Party’s latest movements) so please check again,” People’s Party said in a statement.

Yoon also opened up to the possibilities of a unification, saying it could be achieved “in 10 minutes.”

“If there is trust and we share the mutual goal which is the change of power, an alliance can be achieved in 10 minutes over a cup of coffee,” Yoon said in an interview with a local newspaper released Wednesday.

“(Unification) comes without warning. It cannot be openly proceeded in the eyes of others,” he said.

Ahn, however, has ruled out the possibility of an alliance, expressing determination to finish the race.

Ahn said Yoon’s thoughts are “one-sided.”

“I have not received any suggestions or whatsoever (related to candidate unification),” Ahn said in a meeting with the media Wednesday. “The talks are only shared through the press, making me doubt the sincerity.”

The candidate has stressed on his intention to finish the race.

“I decided to run for the presidency to be the lead role of the change of power,” Ahn said at a debate held Tuesday. “I have not thought about the means of unification as I have not given thoughts to the issue itself.”

If Yoon and Ahn were to form a united campaign, the first deadline for such a move would fall on Feb. 14, by which time candidates have to submit their registrations. The final deadline would be Feb. 28, when printing starts for the ballot papers for the election.