Oh joins Seoul mayor race with school revamp pledge

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Oh joins Seoul mayor race with school revamp pledge


Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon

Announcing his bid for re-election, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon pledged yesterday to spend 1 trillion won ($898.5 million) of the city’s budget for the next four years to revamp public education.

In a press conference held at the Grand National Party headquarters, Oh formalized his bid ahead of the party’s April 29 primary to select a Seoul mayor candidate for the June 2 local elections.

Oh faces off in a primary against Representatives Won Hee-ryong, Na Kyung-won and Kim Choong-whan.

Won, a three-term lawmaker, pledged over the weekend to allow Seoulites to participate more in planning and reviews of city budgets.

A two-term lawmaker, Na has announced her “Grand Seoul Plan,” in which a joint administrative office of the cities of Seoul and Incheon and Gyeonggi province will be established. She said the plan would benefit the capital region’s industries, transportation, logistics, environment and infrastructure development.

Kim, also a two-term lawmaker, has promised a crime-free Seoul. He vowed to beef up safety measures for the city’s infrastructure and facilities in case of natural or man-made disasters.

In the Democratic Party, former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook will make her bid official for the Seoul mayor job on April 21. Han was recently acquitted in a bribery trial, and she condemned the prosecution and the Grand National Party for having attempted to discredit her with the corruption charge. She is facing a second investigation of bribery.

Democrats are split over who to choose as their candidate. While Kim Min-seok, a senior DP member, said it is better for the party to run Han, other party members, including former lawmaker Lee Kye-ahn, maintain it would be better to hold a primary.

While the Grand National and Democratic parties are still deciding who to run for mayor of Seoul, some of the candidates for the 15 metropolitan mayor and provincial governor elections have been named.

The Grand National Party has decided on at least 10 candidates, most of them current mayors and governors who will run for re-election. The Democratic Party has finalized six candidates, including the two Jeolla governors running for re-election.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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