Ethnic Korean Runs for Bolivian President

  • By Yoo Seog-jae

    August 20, 2019 11:42

    An ethnic Korean is running for the Bolivian presidency in October, a first for a Korean-born emigree in any country. 

    According to local media, the rightwing opposition Partido Demócrata Cristiano nominated evangelical pastor and doctor Chung Chi-hyun (49) as its presidential candidate last week.

    Chung, who holds Bolivian citizenship, is the son of a Korean pastor and immigrated to the South American country in 1982, when he was 12. He graduated from San Francisco Xavier National University in Bolivia.

    Chung Chi-hyun (center), a presidential candidate of Bolivia's opposition Partido Demócrata Cristiano, is escorted by bodyguards at an event in the capital of La Paz last Friday. /AFP-Yonhap

    Chung told the BBC in a telephone interview that he is "suited" for the presidency since he became a Bolivian citizen 20 years ago. He added that he was motivated to run for the top office because the incumbent administration tried to turn Bolivia into a "communist system like North Korea."

    Chung stands almost no chance against incumbent socialist Evo Morales, who is running for a controversial fourth term, or his popular challenger Carlos Mesa. 

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