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[Newsmaker] Jeju governor joins presidential election race

Jeju Province Gov. Won Hee-ryong declares his bid for presidency in a virtual press conference on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Jeju Province Gov. Won Hee-ryong declares his bid for presidency in a virtual press conference on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Jeju Province Gov. Won Hee-ryong announced Sunday that he will run for presidency in the election slated for March next year.

In a video speech, Won, a former three-term opposition lawmaker, vowed to upend "everything" the Moon Jae-in government has done.

"I declare my bid for the 20th presidential election to make the Republic of Korea a country of a different class and different dimension," he said in the virtual press conference.

"I would like to propose a vision of a country that values every person's happiness, where the next generation further prospers and where the people, nature and civilization co-exist," he said.

Won, a native of Jeju, won his second term as the governor of the southernmost resort island as an independent candidate in the 2018 general elections. He later rejoined the main opposition People Power Party (PPP).

With Won's presidential bid, the PPP now has a roaster of more than 10 members who have either officially declared or reportedly plan on making a presidential bid announcement.

The latest before Won was Choe Jae-hyeong, former chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), who joined the PPP in a move seen as a step toward running in the March 9 presidential election.

But among the contenders in the opposition bloc, former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl is leading the polls, though he has yet to announce whether he plans to join the PPP to compete in the primary. (Yonhap)

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