Liberal opposition parties get behind Han nomination

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Liberal opposition parties get behind Han nomination

The Democratic Labor, Creative Korea and People’s Participation parties yesterday got behind the Democratic Party’s nomination of Han Myeong-sook, agreeing to back the former prime minister of the Roh Moo-hyun administration in her bid for the Seoul mayor’s office.

In addition to supporting Han in her race against incumbent Oh Se-hoon of the Grand National Party, the four parties also agreed to create joint pledges and establish a consolidated campaign headquarters, and to establish a coalition Seoul city government if Han wins the post.

To improve her chances, Han’s camp is expected to continue efforts to win the support of Roh Hoe-chan, currently the candidate of the New Jinbo Party.

The liberal opposition parties had tried for months to create a political alliance and consolidate candidates to better their odds against the ruling Grand Nationals in the June 2 elections. But negotiations hit deadlock in late April, when the Democratic Party and People’s Participation Party failed to narrow their differences over a candidate for Gyeonggi governor.

Despite the stumbling block, the Democratic, Democratic Labor and Creative Korea parties consolidated their Incheon mayor candidates earlier this month.

On May 2, the Democratic Party’s Song Young-gil was selected as a unified liberal opposition candidate against incumbent Incheon Mayor Ahn Sang-soo of the GNP.

The coalition plan gained further momentum on Thursday, when Rhyu Si-min of the People’s Participation Party was chosen as the liberal bloc’s consolidated candidate for the Gyeonggi governorship.

Rhyu also struck a deal with the Democratic Labor Party yesterday to consolidate their bids, and will continue his negotiations to gain the support of the New Jinbo Party. He will run against the GNP’s Kim Moon-soo, the incumbent Gyeonggi governor.

As the liberal opposition parties’ efforts to form coalitions made progress in the capital region, Han, Rhyu and Song issued a joint statement yesterday, vowing to coordinate their campaigns against the Grand National incumbents.

They also pledged to reverse policies established by the GNP and the Lee Myung-bak administration, including the four rivers development project.

The deadline to register candidacy for the June 2 local elections was yesterday.

By Ser Myo-ja []
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