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[Newsmaker] Ex-chief state auditor to declare presidential bid next week

This photo shows Choe Jae-hyeong, former head of the Board of Audit and Inspection. (Yonhap)
This photo shows Choe Jae-hyeong, former head of the Board of Audit and Inspection. (Yonhap)
Choe Jae-hyeong, former head of the state audit agency, will declare his bid to run for the presidency next week, opposition party officials said Friday.

Choe will make the announcement through an online event Wednesday, about a month after he stepped down as chief of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), hinting at his presidential ambitions.

According to opposition party officials, Choe is in the final stages of drawing up his statement announcing the presidential bid. In the statement, Choe may highlight his commitment to safeguarding the spirit of the Constitution and tightening the unity of the country, as well as the necessity of a change of government.

Choe's camp is also accelerating the formation of its policy advisory body, the officials said. The camp has recently picked Chun Yung-woo, a former South Korean national security adviser who served under the Lee Myung-bak administration, to head its policy advisory team for foreign policy and national security.

Choe officially entered the main opposition People Power Party last month in a bid to run in the March 9 presidential election on the opposition side.

He had been at odds with Cheong Wa Dae since BAI's controversial audit last year on the Moon administration's decision to close the Wolsong-1 reactor at an early date.

The closure was in line with Moon's campaign to phase out the country's use of nuclear energy in favor of renewable ones.

In the latest poll on most favored presidential hopefuls by Realmeter released a day earlier, Choe came in fourth with 5.5 percent of support, up 1.3 percentage points from two weeks earlier. (Yonhap)