Ahn Cheol-soo starts making his comeback moves

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Ahn Cheol-soo starts making his comeback moves

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Ahn Cheol-soo, a software mogul who shook up last year’s presidential election during his short-lived campaign, will organize an affinity group to continue his political career, a key strategist who worked for Ahn’s presidential bid said yesterday.

Keum Tae-sub, a prosecutor-turned-lawyer who served as the chief campaign manager for Ahn, spoke about the political future of the former candidate and his allies in an interview with CBS Radio yesterday.

In the interview, the 45-year-old attorney said Ahn and his allies will make “more meticulous plans” for their next political campaign.

Promoting his vision of “new politics,” Ahn declared his presidential ambition on Sept. 19, 2012, but withdrew from the race on Nov. 23 after failing to come to terms with the Democratic United Party’s Moon Jae-in to merge their bids. Although Ahn gave his support to Moon, the DUP candidate was still defeated by the conservative Saenuri Party’s Park Geun-hye.

Ahn left for the United States on Dec. 19, the day of the presidential election, but made it clear he intended to continue his political career.

Speculation rose recently that he will return home at the end of February or early March and that he will create a new political party.

While Keum said the timing of Ahn’s return has not been decided, he admitted to the limits that Ahn had faced as an independent candidate.

“We will organize an affinity group, in whichever form it will take, but nothing has been decided about the method yet,” Keum said.

“We all agree on the importance of a political party,” he said. “And during the last election, we felt it very strongly as Ahn ran as an independent candidate. That’s why many people who worked for the campaign are thinking about creating a new political party or other ways to get party backing.”

Asked about a possibility for Ahn and his allies to join the largest opposition DUP, Keum also said nothing was decided on the matter.

About speculation that Ahn or his associates, including Keum, will run in the upcoming by-elections, Keum left the possibility open.

“For politicians, elections are incredibly important,” Keum said. “But we won’t say that we will run in an election or not as if it were a mountain and we will climb it because it’s there. As I have said, we will make sure this time that we won’t lack preparation. We will make more meticulous plans and implement them. We will take into account various opportunities and people in the campaign will have a discussion and move together.”

Legislative by-elections are scheduled to take place in April and October.

As the local media has increasingly reported on political plan Ahn and his allies’ political plan, concerns are growing inside the DUP, which is still licking its wounds from the bitter presidential defeat.

During their review of the presidential defeat, held Wednesday, Representative Min Byung-doo said Ahn’s group will field candidates in the October by-elections and will create a new political party based on the outcome. “Ahn’s new party will be a great ordeal for the DUP,” Min said.

Meanwhile, stock prices of companies that are related to Ahn went up yesterday.


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

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