Ahn's aide says ahn will renew his support for Moon

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Ahn's aide says ahn will renew his support for Moon


Ahn Cheol-soo

Ahn Cheol-soo, the independent presidential hopeful who quit the race after failing to come to terms with liberal candidate Moon Jae-in, will reiterate his endorsement of the main opposition party’s candidate soon and meet with him, one of Ahn’s aides told the JoongAng Ilbo.

“Ahn is determined to support Moon’s campaign in order to keep his promise to voters that he would help shift power to the opposition from the ruling party,” Ahn’s aide said yesterday. “He will make an announcement as early as this week, possibly after he holds a closing ceremony of his own campaign.”

Ahn dropped out of the race after failing to agree with Moon on how to merge their candidacies. In a tearful quitting speech last Friday, he endorsed Moon as a candidate.

But Moon’s support in opinion polls immediately fell after Ahn supporters blamed him for the failed negotiations.

Moon wants Ahn to hurry up his endorsement.

“Although Moon’s camp wants a meeting between them as soon as possible, Ahn judged that before meeting with Moon, he needs to announce his position in order to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings and attacks from the Saenuri Party,” the aide added. “After the announcement, he will have a meeting with Moon this weekend or early next week.”

Ahn hasn’t decided how far to go in supporting Moon.

“He will do his best,” an official at Ahn’s campaign said. “But he won’t take any position in Moon’s campaign.”

After dropping out of the race last Friday evening, Ahn disappeared for four days. The press doesn’t know where he went or what he did from Saturday through Tuesday. He didn’t bring his secretaries with him and gave them holidays.

Ahn surfaced yesterday at a lunch with officials of his campaign, Yoo Min-young, his former spokesman, said.

On Monday, a 27-year-old man threatened to jump from the roof of a six-story building adjacent to Ahn’s campaign headquarters, claiming Ahn was the only person who should be president. Police talked him down.

Ahn said yesterday he “was indebted to his supporters and volunteers in his campaign” and he will “pay back the debts,” Yoo said.

By Yang Won-bo, Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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