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DP chooses ex-anchor as mayoral candidate


Park Young-sun to compete against Park Won-soon for sole liberal candidacy

The main opposition Democratic Party selected its policy committee chief and former news anchorwoman Rep. Park Young-sun on Sunday as its candidate for the Oct. 26 Seoul mayoral by-election.

In the selection process, split evenly between party member votes and public poll results, Park beat three other candidates -- Rep. Chun Jung-bae, Rep. Choo Mi-ae and former Rep. Shin Geh-ryoon.



Park won 38.3 percent overall, beating the runner-up Chun, on 28.7 percent.

Choo and Shin were ranked third and fourth with 21.8 percent and 11.2 percent. Park received 2,949 ballots from 7,982 party members and scored 39.7 percent in the public poll, according to party officials.

Park is now to compete with independent candidate Park Won-soon and minority Democratic Labor Party candidate Choi Kyu-yeop to be the sole opposition candidate on Oct. 3.

Park made her debut in politics as party spokesperson in 2004 and built her reputation as a liberal figure in the aftermath of President Roh Moo-hyun’s impeachment.

She was involved in various committees, including the party’s Free Trade Agreement special committee and the policy committee, which she currently chairs.

Sunday’s race, which was the final stage of the DP’s weeks-long candidate selection, was largely regarded as a success, despite earlier concerns due to the strong public support for non-party figures such as Ahn Cheol-soo and Park Won-soon.

Though Chun announced his candidacy on Aug. 25, the day after former mayor Oh Se-hoon resigned over the free school meal plebiscite, he received little attention as entrepreneur-turned-professor Ahn was mentioned as a potential runner.

After Ahn said he would not run and would support Park Won-soon as a potential Seoul mayoral candidate, public attention and support leant toward independent candidate Park Won-soon, especially as former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook dropped out of the race.

However, the participation of Reps. Choo and Park, both popular liberal figures, sparked public interest in the DP candidate selection.

The DP faces another obstacle as Rep. Park is to compete against frontrunner Park Won-soon to become the liberal camp’s sole candidate.

That race is expected to take place Oct. 3. By-election candidates are to officially register themselves to the National Election Commission on Oct. 6.

Park Won-soon pledged on Saturday to fully accept the main opposition Democratic Party’s rules to select a unified candidate.

“I accept the nomination rules set by the Democratic Party, without any conditions attached,” Park said after visiting the grave of former liberal President Roh Moo-hyun with former presidential aide Moon Jae-in.

According to the DP rules, a sole candidate is to be selected upon the combined result of public opinion polls, people’s votes and a professional assessment following a television debate.

However, as the DP allocates a greater portion to party members’ votes and television debates, the rules are expected to disadvantage Park, who is an independent candidate with little experience in political campaigning.

“I am aware that the conditions may be unfavorable for me, because I don’t have organization within the party, but decided to take a step back in order to break through to the tie-up,” Park said.

“The key point is not to promote the interests of a specific party or group, but to achieve opposition unity, as I promised so to the 10 million Seoul citizens.”

The ruling Grand National Party is expected to select its candidate this week, according to officials.

As Rep. Na Kyung-won of the GNP is taking a great lead over Rep. Kim Choong-whan, its race is likely to be decided by public poll results instead of a regional convention.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)

민주 서울시장 후보에 박영선

민주당의 10ㆍ26 서울시장 보선 후보로 박영선 의원이 선출됐다.
박 의원은 25일 서울 잠실실내체육관에서 서울시당대회를 겸해 열린 경선에서 천정배, 추미애, 신계륜 후보를 누르고 당 후보로 확정됐다.
박 의원은 내달 3일 장충체육관에서 열리는 야권통합후보 경선에서 시민사회 후보로 출마를 선언한 박원순 변호사와 민주노동당 최규엽 후보와 야권 단일후보 자리를 놓고 경선을 벌이게 된다.
이날 경선은 현장 당원투표와 23~24일 실시된 국민여론조사 결과를 50%씩 반영하는 방식으로 치러졌다.
박 의원은 경선에서 최종 득표율 38.3%를 얻어 28.7%를 얻은 천정배 후보를 누르고 1위에 올랐다.
3위는 21.8%를 얻은 추미애 후보, 4위는 11.2%를 얻은 신계륜 전 의원이 차지했다.

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