September 29, 2011 13:02
The quest for a single candidate from the ruling camp for Seoul mayor was thrown into disarray Wednesday when Ji Sang-wook, the former spokesman for the hard-right Liberty Forward Party, threw his hat in the ring.
Ji at a press conference proposed picking a single candidate from rightwing political groups. "Candidates from conservative civic groups, the Grand National Party and I should compete fairly to become the single candidate for Seoul mayor," he said. "It would be wrong to simply label the political establishment bad or believe that civic groups should replace everything. Civic groups are most useful in their role as critical monitors of society."
He was apparently referring to widespread disenchantment with established politicians that saw software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo garner over 50 percent approval ratings without even declaring his candidacy.
Ji ran for Seoul mayor in the last regular election in 2010 and garnered a poor 2.04 percent or 90,032 votes, but GNP candidate Oh Se-hoon won the race over main opposition Democratic Party candidate Han Myeong-sook by just 0.6 percentage points. If the GNP and DP run a tight race again, Ji's emergence could take crucial votes from the GNP.
Ji is a close confidante of former LFP chairman Lee Hoi-chang and the husband of former actress Shim Eun-ha. He majored in civil engineering at Yonsei University and earned a Master's at Stanford University and PhD at Tokyo University and taught at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies.
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