March 03, 2022 12:42
The opposition People Power Party and People's Party have agreed at the last minute to field Yoon Suk-yeol as their single candidate in the March 9 presidential election.
Yoon and PP chief Ahn Cheol-soo said in a joint press conference on Thursday morning the merger "will create a new political force."
"We will achieve a change of government and prepare for a grand transformation for change and innovation," they added.
Yoon pledged to "comply with Ahn's wishes" and "create a successful government of national unity."
The deal came a day ahead of the start of early voting after earlier negotiations floundered, presumably because Ahn had not been offered sufficient concessions.
Supposing Ahn's estimated five-percent support can be mopped up by Yoon, that gives the opposition a respectable lead over ruling Minjoo Party candidate Lee Jae-myung, who has been dogged by corruption probes and gaffes.
"The two candidates met until after midnight after the final TV debate on Wednesday," a PPP official said.
Yoon promised solidarity with Ahn's vision and added the hope that the two parties will eventually merge.
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