Time for a wise choiceMoon Jae-in won the Democratic Party’s first primary in the Jeolla provinces, the home of the liberal party. From DP member and non-member voters, Moon gained 60.2 percent support, overwhelming An Hee-jung’s 20 percent and Lee Jae-myung’s 19.4 percent.
The result should be a huge relief for Moon who bowed in the streets of Gwangju a year ago, promising not to run for the next presidency if he failed to win support from Jeolla citizens. Traditionally, the candidate who won over the regional primary in Jeolla became the nominee for the party. The landslide outcome would weigh heavily over the contenders running in the forthcoming primaries in other regions.
Moon, however, should not be misled to believe the votes reflect the ordinary citizens. Most of the votes were made through a phone survey. We know how illusive election polls can be from last year’s parliamentary election and the overseas examples of British referendum on exiting the European Union and the presidential race in the United States.
The Jeolla votes are divided between the DP and People’s Party. Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party won 70,000 votes out of 100,000 eligible voters in Jeolla region who went to the polls to cast their ballots in the party’s primary. The support for Ahn is more credible than for Moon, as the DP took their votes by phone.
The early stage of the election will be led by the two frontrunners Moon and Ahn, both claiming Jeolla as their stronghold. What could be an upset is Ahn forming an alliance with Moon’s competitors. Moon pushes the slogan of putting an end to past ills, while Ahn promises a reformed future. Voters must make a wise choice.
JoongAng Ilbo, March 28, Page 30