Following former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, key Presidential candidates of the opposition circles -- Choi Jae-hyung, the chairman of Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), and Kim Dong-yeon, the former deputy prime minister for economic affairs – are imminent in announcing their bids for the Presidential race.
Lee Joon-seok, chairman of the People Power Party (PPP), is stepping up pressure on them outside the party to join the PPP by announcing the start of the August primary.
According to political circles on June 25, Choi is expected to step down from his post as the BAI head for the Presidential election. "Choi will talk about his resignation next week," Choi's aide told a news media in a telephone interview, adding, "His challenge for President will be the next step.”
Choi is scheduled to meet his father, reserved Navy Colonel Choi Young-sup, over the weekend to announce his intention to run for President.
Meanwhile, former Prosecutor General Yoon is scheduled to announce his Presidential bid at the Memorial Hall of an independence activist Yoon Bong-gil in Seocho-gu, Seoul on June 29.
Yoon, who has kept the No. 1 approval rating, will announce his position on various pending issues as well as running for the Presidential election on the day.
While emphasizing his will for the Presidency, Yoon intends to break through negative issues such as the controversy over the “X-file,” immature media response, and selection of his camp members.
Both Yoon and Choi are expected to keep a certain distance without joining the People Power Party for the time being.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon is also emerging as a Presidential runner-up. Although Kim is sparing of words and shows a cautious attitude, his choice is drawing attention as the courtship of both the opposition and the ruling parties for 'the first deputy prime minister of the Moon Jae-in government' is expected to continue for a while.
According to the political circles, Song Young-gil, the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, said on June 23, "I think he (former Deputy Prime Minister Kim) is a person who agrees with our Moon Jae-in administration. We hope he will participate in our party’s contest if the schedule of the Presidential race is fixed.”
In the midst of courtship of both the ruling and opposition parties, however, former Deputy Prime Minister Kim still seems to keep his distance.
On the questions, “Which do you think you're closer to the ruling or the opposition party? Whether you are thinking about joining the People Power Party,” Kim said, "I think that it is not proper time to answer the question.”