Could Ahn Cheol-soo Become Korea's Next President?

      September 07, 2011 13:25

      Software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo gave up his bid for Seoul mayor, but instead he is emerging as a strong contender for president in next year's election. There are rumors that Ahn decided to back lawyer-turned-civic activist Park Won-soon for Seoul mayor because he intends to run for the presidency and will need Park's help at that time.

      An opinion poll has shown that Ahn, who also serves as dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University, has a slight lead over former Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye. In the poll by Mono Research of 1,108 people across the country on Tuesday, Ahn received 42.4 percent support compared to 40.5 percent for Park Geun-hye in a two-way race, assuming that the AhnLab founder runs as a candidate for the opposition political camp.

      Software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo talks to the press at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday.

      The results had a margin of error of 2.94 percent, but if they are accurate this would be the first time Park has been defeated in opinion polls for presidential candidates over the past three years.

      In another opinion poll that included many presidential candidates from both the ruling and opposition camps, Park Geun-hye garnered 33.4 percent support, followed by Ahn with 19.5 percent, and Moon Jae-in, the former presidential chief of staff and head of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, with 13.1 percent. Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo follows with 5.3 percent, GNP chief Chung Mong-joon with 5.3 percent, main opposition Democratic Party leader Sohn Hak-kyu with 4.4 percent and DP lawmaker Chung Dong-young with 2.8 percent.

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