Moon or Ahn to Step Back in Favor of the Other

      November 07, 2012 12:50

      The two left-leaning candidates in the three-way presidential race have agreed that one of them will step back in favor of the other before they officially register between Nov. 25 and 26.

      The Dec. 19 presidential vote will be a race between Park Geun-hye of the ruling Saenuri Party and either the Democratic United Party's Moon Jae-in or independent runner and software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo.

      Democratic United Party presidential candidate Moon Jae-in and independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo smile after a meeting to discuss fielding a single opposition candidate in Seoul on Tuesday.

      Ahn and Moon met on Tuesday evening behind closed doors and agreed to seven terms, according to their spokesmen. They agreed that "consensus and public support" are crucial. This led to speculation that the two will let public opinion polls decide who runs, but Moon and Ahn's aides said there were no discussions about how they will decide.

      The two also agreed to seek a "national alliance" for political reform and lay out a unified reform program, to be coordinated by a task force. The meeting lasted for about an hour and 15 minutes, and both sides said they are "satisfied" with the agreed terms.

      But it remains to be seen whether the selection will proceed smoothly and gracefully as there is already friction over the scope of the task force's job.

      Saenuri Party spokesman Ahn Hyung-hwan downplayed the meeting as a "back-room dealings between the No. 2 and 3 players to try and beat the frontrunner."

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