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Park Geun-hye announces bid for presidency

In Germany, declares she will seek GNP nomination

Oct 01,2006
FRANKFURT ― Park Geun-hye chose an unlikely place to announce her long-expected run for president: foreign soil.
The former chairwoman of the Grand National Party officially said on Saturday (Germany time) that she will run in the primary for president.
“I became chairwoman of the party in 2004 when the party was in crisis and I accomplished about 80 percent of the pledges that I made regarding the party’s reform,” Ms. Park said. “However, because the presidential administration did not belong to our party, many of my policies on the country’s economy, peace, welfare and education did not work out as well as I planned. By winning the presidential election, I want to make the country become an advanced, competitive country where people can live comfortably.”
Ms. Park has been overseas since Sept. 23, visiting Belgium and Germany. She met on Thursday with Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor.
Ms. Park, the daughter of former president Park Chung Hee, remained confident while peppered by reporters with questions for an hour.
Regarding her decreasing support rate in recent polls, Ms. Park said, “Polls are just for reference.”
Lee Myung-bak, former Seoul mayor and the other strong Grand National Party presidential hopeful, said in his hometown of Pohang that he had no comment about her run.
In a JoongAng Ilbo poll conducted Friday, half of the respondents predicted that both Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak would run for president regardless of what happens in the party’s primary. The phone survey was conducted on 758 adults nationwide over the age of 19. If only one of the two candidates runs for president, 45 percent said they believed Park Geun-hye would be the party’s candidate, slightly more than 41 percent for Lee Myung-bak. But if both candidates run for president, 33 percent said they would vote for Mr. Lee while 32 percent showed their support for Ms. Park.
The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. Ms. Park and Mr. Lee were supported by 27 percent each as presidential candidates, followed by former Prime Minister Goh Kun, with 21 percent. In the newspaper’s August poll, Ms. Park was the top candidate, supported by 27 percent, followed by Mr. Lee and Mr. Goh, with 20 percent each.


by Kang Joo-an, Shin Chang-woon, Kim Soe-jung


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