The by-election race in the Bundang constituency has come down to a battle between the former and incumbent leaders of the ruling and main opposition parties, as two other candidates have stepped out of the way.
Park Gye-dong, former lawmaker of the ruling Grand National Party, held a press conference Thursday to announce his withdrawal from the by-election contest.
“I shall accept the party’s decision, though I am discontented with the process,” he said.
“Now it is time for us all to overcome all intraparty conflicts and unify for the sake of victory in the nearing by-election.”
He also pledged to give his support to Kang Jae-sup who is to represent the GNP in the Bundang-B constituency as a rival to opposition leader Sohn Hak-kyu.
Park, who protested the party’s decision to run Kang in the constituency, previously registered himself as an independent candidate.
Also, Lee Jong-woong of the minority People’s Participation Party stepped down, without forming an opposition bloc as some had expected.
“I have decided to devote myself for the victory of the opposition parties,” he said.
“I thus give up on my personal ambition in order to better serve the people and the country.”
Lee similarly promised to help Sohn in his election campaign.
The two big names ― Kang and Sohn ― are set for a head-on collision in the April 27 by-election and are presently gearing up for the official election campaign period which is to start next Thursday.
Kang, who has lived in the area for some 15 years, is stressing his actual ties with and devotion to the Bundang district.
On the other hand, Sohn claims that the Bundang middle class is disapproving of the present administration and now aspires for political change.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org