Opposition parties struggle to move forward in Busan mayoral race

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 14, 2014 - 16:26
  • Updated : May 14, 2014 - 16:26
The ruling Saenuri Party’s Busan mayoral candidate Suh Byung-soo resumed his campaign on Wednesday as the opposition bloc’s plans for the Busan mayoral race continued to flounder.

The discussions between independent candidate Oh Keo-don and Kim Young-choon of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy fell apart on Tuesday after Kim rejected Oh’s conditions.

Kim expressed regret that Oh was requesting a settlement without discussing reform plans. He added that he would not return to the negotiating table unless Oh changed his stance.

Oh, however, appears to remain optimistic.

“The fact that Kim took back the agreement to merge campaigns shows that he feels strongly about reforming Busan,” a local news agency quoted an unnamed official on Oh’s side as saying.

“We believe that the unification agreement is still effective and will wait,” Oh said in response.

As for Suh, who had put his campaign on hold following the April 16 ferry disaster, he resumed campaigning with a visit to Busan’s Jeonpo-dong, and promised financial support for urban development projects in areas likely to attract business, among others.

An official of Suh’s election camp said that while the opposition party campaign merger is “merely a political show,” the Saenuri party will secure votes by proposing specific policies aimed at citizens’ “safety and happiness.”

By Suh Ye-seul (