November 29, 2021 11:55
Korea's three minor opposition candidates parties are sounding out the prospects of forming an alliance with just 100 days left until the presidential election.
The three candidates are Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party, Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party and former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who is seeking to found a new party.
Sim and Ahn plan to meet as early as this week to discuss a possible alliance. A People's Party source said Sunday, "We are holding working-level talks over a meeting with Sim's side." Kim is also expected to meet them.
But it is difficult to predict how much of an impact the alliance will have on the direction of the presidential campaigns since the candidates have vanishingly small support ratings so far and their views diverge widely.
Sim said last Friday, "What we're trying to do is to listen to the opinions of Ahn and Kim since they also pledged to end the two-party dominance."
But Ahn wrote on Facebook, "The People's Party and the Justice Party have different philosophies and values. We will try to cooperate but that does not mean we will form an alliance."
Kim said, "I'm agreeing to talks but not to forming an alliance or fielding a single candidate."
Sim and Ahn, who each have less than five percent approval ratings, could end up providing the casting vote when the difference between frontrunners Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Minjoo Party and Yoon Suk-yeol of the People Power Party has narrowed to within the margin of error.
Lee and Yoon could then each try to forge an alliance with the minor candidates. The PPP in particular believes it is crucial to form an alliance with Ahn. "Ahn could rally support from undecided voters and agree to a single candidate in exchange for forming a coalition government," a PPP source said.
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