Ahn Cheol-soo, former presidential aspirant who ran as an independent, indicated Monday he will form a political camp of his own by fielding candidates of his choice in October's re- and by-elections, a move certain to complicate the rivalry within the country's opposition bloc.
Ahn, elected to parliament through last month's by-election, told reporters he hopes to challenge the elections in October if he "can find the people," the first set of comments from Ahn himself confirming speculations that he will stay on a separate path from the existing opposition camp.
The 51-year-old lawmaker, a medical doctor better known for distributing anti-virus computer software for free, was a formidable candidate in December's presidential race until he withdrew after failed negotiations for merging candidacies with Moon Jae-in of opposition Democratic Party (DP). After months in the U.S., he returned and successfully ran for legislative seat from a constituency in northern Seoul in the April 24 by-election.
Ahn's political foray has agitated the DP, who is unsure whether to embrace him in hopes of winning over his supporters, or to keep him at a distance.
"What it boils down to is the people," Ahn said, referring to fit candidates for October. "We have to search hard for the people."
Ahn said he would be looking for individuals who place public good before personal interests, "someone who wants to assume a role in the overall structural reform of the country." He dismissed the possibility of not being able to field candidates due to not finding appropriate people, saying, "that would be a very extreme circumstance." (YONHAP)