Independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, a software tycoon, withdraws from the presidential race, leaving Democratic United Party candidate Moon Jae-in to face the conservative Saenuri Party‘s Park Geun-hye, daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, in this December’s South Korean presidential election.
Moon and Ahn had tried to form a united candidacy against Park, but a successful conclusion failed to materialise after public debates and talks.
South Koreans vote on 19th December.
From Yonhap News:
Continuing Confrontation Over United Candidate Not Appropriate
Independent presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo announced he was withdrawing from the election on the 23rd. Ahn held an emergency announcement at his campaign headquarters, and declared his intention to serve in a capacity as a non-candidate to change the regime.
The presidential election is now a two-horse race. Ahn said ‘Moon is now the sole unity candidate from the opposition’ adding that ‘any dissonance during the united front process was my fault and I do support Moon.’
Regarding the breakdown over the negotiation process, ‘Causing any more friction over the method of a united front is just not right’ and ‘beyond who is right and wrong, this process is only hurting the citizens.’ Ahn emphasised ‘Becoming president and refreshing Korean politics is important, but it is equally important to keep a promise made before the nation.’
He also said ‘the promise of new politics is undoubtedly delayed but I, Ahn Cheol-soo, desire a new era, new politics, and will never forget why I was called upon by so many of you.’
Ahn concluded that ‘I cut my trip short due to my shortcoming and inability to fulfill a desire for change, but I will never forget the duty and responsibility of this age, however tortuous the path that lies before me, I will carry on.’
Upon hearing the news of his withdrawal, Moon wrote: ‘To Ahn, and all those who support him, I am truly sorry.’ Moon’s election campaign held an emergency meeting to discuss future plans.
Park Geun-hye was visiting Daegu-Gyeongbuk when she received the news but did not make any immediate statement.
Comments from Daum:
The Saenuri Party couldn’t even dare think about this. With their thuggish mindset, they will never comprehend this. As expected, Ahn Cheol-soo is truly Ahn Cheol-soo. For staying true to his promise of having a peaceful [no fighting, disputes] procedure for any reasons, his own common sense! Talking and walking that talk is a totally different matter! Although he’s different from the Democrats who can’t yield to anyone under any circumstances, Ahn Cheol-soo is still a great guy. How he kept his promise of accomplishing unification [of the candidates] to change the regime, even if it is not through him, and even being content with sacrificing himself for change if it can achieve the change, and how he guarded the citizens’ passion are truly Ahn Cheol-soo-like. Hence this poignant feeling!
Ahn has won, do your job now Moon
Sad, if it had come to a beautiful conclusion, all would’ve looked great. In any case it’s time Ahn and Moon come together to form a united front against Park Geun-hye and overcome the dictator’s daughter.
Truly a great man… He knows how to sacrifice himself for the greater good at the most important moment. This day will be remembered as the first day of great political reform. Remember, and respond citizens!
Dear Mr. Ahn, I was very sorry to see the mud-slinging over the united front. I even suspected your sincerity. I am sorry for having doubting you – I sincerely regret it. Please do run next time, I will support you.
Ahn Cheol-soo, you are a true man.
So now sincerity has become truth.
Politics… so difficult.
Don’t curse at him, Ahn is an amazing man.
Sad, now the opposition stands no chance against the ruling regime. I would consider leaving this country rather than putting up with another idiot administration. The United Democratic Party, it really saddens me to be so petulant knowing you guys will lose again.
Honestly this would have been Ahn’s greatest opportunity in his life.. He is really a big thinker, I wasn’t mistaken about this guy.
Ahn’s decision…. I can see hope~ the next president would be you, Mr. Ahn.
So proud, makes me teary.
Game over ke ke ke 18th president: Park Geun-hye, 19th: Ahn Cheol-soo.
I can almost cry. This is such a shocking story, and Ahn definitely has a different perspective. I am so shocked that he could do such a thing.
Moon…. Ahn enjoyed the lead in the polls but gave up because he is not as stubborn as you, so now you’ll win by default. I will not vote for you, regardless of your approval rating…
I will not vote for the United Democratic Party. I will not vote this time. From Ahn’s 12 year old junior.