From a diehard supporter for the ousted president to one of the most outspoken rightist commentators, nine politicians joined the crowded field to become the presidential nominee of the conservative Liberty Korea Party on Thursday.
The former ruling Liberty Korea Party closed its applications for the in-house primary ahead of the May 9 presidential election.
|The logo of the Liberty Korea Party (Yonhap)|
Among the figures include South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo and former six-term lawmaker Rhee In-je, former conservative journalist Kim Jin. and Rep. Kim Jin-tae who called on demonstrators to fight in support of ousted President Park Geun-hye.
The party will trim the number of applicants for the primary to four through two rounds of opinion polls on Friday and Sunday.
None of the many candidates have a significant standing in local polls to challenge frontrunner Moon Jae-in from the Democratic Party.
The Liberty Korea Party has been struggling to secure a competitive candidate, but its most viable option, Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, announced earlier this week that he will not join the race for the top elected office.
According to the poll conducted by Realmeter on Wednesday, Moon garnered an approval rating of 37.1 percent, followed by other liberal contenders who received 10 percent range scores.
Hong managed to rise to become the most favored conservative contender with 7.1 percent, up 3.5 percentage points on-week, after Hwang's announcement.
South Korea will host the presidential election on May 9, after the Constitutional Court upheld the ouster of Park Geun-hye as president on a corruption scandal. (Yonhap)