June 30, 2021 09:45
Former Prosecutor-General Yoon Suk-yeol put an end to months of speculation by announcing his bid for the presidency at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. Moon vowed to "pool the strength of the people to achieve a shift in leadership."
The announcement came three-and-a-half months after Yoon resigned as the country's top prosecutor amid clashes with the Moon Jae-in administration over prosecution reforms and corruption probes. Yoon emerged as an icon of resistance to an administration perceived as being increasingly dogmatic and corrupt, while various polls placed him among the leading presidential contenders.
"I vow to rebuild the values of democracy, the rule of law, and fairness that resonate through the generations," Yoon told reporters. "The Moon Jae-in administration did not stop at privatizing authority, but continues to try and pillage the people by extending the grip on power of the incompetent."
Yoon also took a jab at Moon's policies. "A so-called income-led growth policy that ignores economic common sense, a housing policy that conflicts with the market, a nuclear phaseout policy that ignores the law and snuffs out world-class technology, and populist policies that are tantamount to vote-buying caused countless numbers of young people, small business owners and low-income workers to suffer in pain," he said.
"It's impossible to list all of the outrageous conduct of this administration," he added. He also criticized the Moon administration's disregard of the survivors of North Korea's torpedo attack on the Navy corvette Cheonan and deteriorating relations with Japan.
Yoon still did not commit to running on the ticket of the main opposition People Power Party but said his "political philosophy coincides" with it. About 20 PPP lawmakers were at the press conference.
He did not seem unduly flustered by a dossier that is making the rounds reportedly detailing allegations surrounding his wife and mother-in-law, which is thought to have been put together by his enemies. "I've never seen it, but my position is that all candidates running for public office need to be vetted without limits," he said.
The ruling Minjoo Party slammed Yoon's bid. Minjoo leader Song Young-gil said, "Surely if you served as prosecutor-general under such a government, you're in effect slandering yourself."
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