Yoon Seok-youl (left) and his competitor Rep. Hong Joon-pyo (right) applaud during a national convention of the main oppposition People Power Party on Friday. (Joint Press Corps)
Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl has been declared the official nominee for the main opposition People Power Party for next year’s presidential election.
The party announced Friday that Yoon will be its presidential nominee after gaining a total of 347,963 votes, or 47.85 percent, to defeat his rival Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, who came in second with 41.5 percent. Former Rep. Yoo Seong-min received 54,304 votes, or 7.47 percent, while former Jeju Gov. Won Hee-ryong achieved 23,085 votes, or 3.17 percent.
The winner was declared after counting the votes cast over four days by party members and the general public. Yoon prevailed over Hong in votes among party members, while Hong beat Yoon in support among general public.
Results of the vote were officially announced during a national convention held at the Kim Koo Museum and Library in Seoul.
“This administration must be very afraid and hurt from my victory in the primary race,” Yoon said during the convention while accepting the nomination.
“I am the symbol of justice that destroyed Cho Kuk’s hypocrisy and pride of Choo Mi-ae. I am a lethal pain that destroys the rightfulness of the Moon Jae-in administration.”
Yoon emphasized that the party must now work as a unified team to achieve victory in March, asking his primary competitors to aid his presidential campaign.
The presidential candidate vowed in the speech to uphold justice and bring back growth. He has focused much of his campaign so far on criticizing the Moon Jae-in administration for dubious policies and corruption.
He said he will drive economic growth with support for corporations and launch policies to enlarge the middle class. Yoon added he will work to denuclearize North Korea by closely working with the international community and prioritizing national interest.
With growing disapproval of the Moon administration, the main opposition bloc’s primary race received high public interest, with record-high 63.89 percent of 570,000 party members casting their votes during the four days of polling.
Yoon will now compete against former Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung representing the ruling Democratic Party of Korea. Besides the two, minor opposition People’s Party Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo and Rep. Sim Sang-jung of the Justice Party have declared their bid for presidency.
By Ko Jun-tae (email@example.com