Liberals stand united for election

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Liberals stand united for election

The nation’s liberals agreed yesterday to consolidate their contenders for next month’s Seoul mayoral race in order to field a single candidate with a better chance of triumphing over the Grand National Party.

Each party of the agreement - the political parties and the civic community - will have their own primaries followed by a final vote, they said.

“The Democratic, Democratic Labor and People’s Participation parties have agreed with the liberal alliance of ‘Renovation and Unity’ to organize a primary to select a united candidate before the registration deadline [on Oct. 6],” Democratic Party spokesman Lee Yong-sup said in a statement.

“The Democratic Party will select its candidate by means of a primary.”

The Renovation and Unity alliance was launched on Tuesday to represent the liberal civic community. The cochairmen of the alliance include Moon Jae-in, head of the Roh Moo-hyun foundation, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan and South Gyeongsang Governor Kim Du-kwan.

Tuesday’s launch was attended by political heavyweights, such as DP Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu.

Based on yesterday’s agreement, candidates from each of the signatory parties will compete with Park Won-sun, the liberal lawyer and civic activist backed by Ahn Cheol-soo, to decide a single face for the campaign.

While Park has already made public his intention to join the race, the political parties have yet to decide their representatives.

Woo Wi-young, spokeswoman for the Democratic Labor Party, confirmed the deal to hold the primary. “This is not a one-shot primary,” she said. “It is a two-stage competition.”

It remains to be seen whether Han Myeong-sook, prime minister under the former Roh Moo-hyun administration, will bid to run for the DP in the primary. Han lost to the GNP’s Oh Se-hoon in last year’s race

As of yesterday, only Representative Chun Jung-bae and former lawmaker Shin Geh-ryoon had announced their ambitions to run for mayor.

Representative Baek Won-woo of the DP said in an interview with Yonhap Television News that Han will soon make a decision.

“Han is carefully considering what she should do,” he said. “She is perhaps the most prominent contender for the DP. She is also contemplating what the aftermath would be if the largest opposition party were not able to field a candidate in the race.”

Fearing this eventuality, senior party members met yesterday and decided to urge Han to declare her bid.

“DP lawmakers of more than three terms will request that Han join the race,” said Representative Park Byeong-seug. “We will also discuss strategy regarding the mayoral election.”


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


한글 관련 기사 [뉴시스]

야권, 서울시장 후보 `투트랙` 단일화로 합의


야당과 시민·사회단체 등 야권이 10·26 서울시장 보궐선거 단일후보 선출을 위해 각 당 및 단체가 각각 후보를 낸 뒤 통합경선을 통해 단일화하는 `투트랙(two track)` 방식의 후보 선출에 합의했다.

민주당과 민주노동당, 국민참여당 등 야3당과 혁신과 통합은 이날 오전 이번 서울시장 선거와 관련한 야권연대 협상책임자 회의를 갖고 이 같은 방식에 합의한 것으로 전해졌다.

민주당 이인영 최고위원은 이날 오전 국회에서 기자들과 만난 자리에서 "오전 회의에서 각 당별로 후보를 정해 단일화 경선을 하기로 했다"고 밝혔다.

이처럼 투트랙 방식의 단일화를 택한 것은 각 당에서 최대한 힘을 끌어낸 뒤 통합경선을 해야 한다고 민노당이 주장한 데 따른 것으로 알려졌다.

우위영 민노당 대변인도 이날 브리핑을 통해 "민노당·민주당·참여당과 `혁신과통합`은 후보등록 전까지 단일화 경선을 통해 야권 단일후보를 선출하기로 한다는 데 합의했다"며 "`원샷`이 아닌 2단계 단일화 경선"이라고 설명했다.

또 "박원순 희망제작소 상임이사는 아직 전권을 위임받아서 오지 않았기 때문에 이후에 논의하면 될 것"이라고 덧붙였다.

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