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I learned lessons during candidate nomination process, says Ahn

I learned lessons during candidate nomination process, says Ahn

Posted May. 20, 2014 05:34,   


“Sitting in the car, I thought to myself that ‘I am having experiences in a truly compressed way.’”

Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, confessed on Monday such feeling about an “egg attack” he suffered while visiting Gwangju. He made the remarks at his first meeting with reporters since his inauguration as a party chairman. During his two-day visit to Gwangju over the weekend, Ahn was besieged in his car for more than 40 minutes on Saturday by some 50 supporters of the opposition party who were resisting "strategic nomination" of Yoon Jang-hyeon as the party’s standard bearer for the Gwangju mayoral election. While trying to briefly open his car door, Ahn was under egg attack.

At the press meeting, Ahn said, “Even Chairman Kim Han-gil told me that in light of his politics career, he hasn`t had a time when he faced pending issues as serious as they have now,” adding, “During a short period, I had a chance to experiences in a compressed way (a flurry of political incidents). I learned valuable lessons that I would not repeat the same mistake.” On his party’s nomination process for the June 4 local elections that continued until the last minutes before candidates’ registration deadline (6 p.m. on last Friday), Ahn said, “It is like a miracle that we have concluded nomination,” confessing that “we had to continue the process to the very final moment, so that I even doubted whether we would have made it if we ran just one day short.”

On the mood in the political community, in which Ahn links the results of candidate Yoon’s election campaign with his own chairmanship of the party, the entrepreneur-turned politician said, “It is natural that I take responsibility for election results, rather than it is about politics over Gwangju.” Asked by a reporter again whether he will step down as chairman if Yoon fails, Ahn avoided clarifying, saying, “It remains to be judged when the time comes.”

He also explained about conflict between politicians representing his own faction and those hailing from the former Democratic Party that was revealed in the nomination process. Ahn said, “As the nomination process itself entails results wherein concerned people get in fierce reciprocal dispute, no nomination can be free of controversy and dispute. In this case, it was all the more special because the nomination had to be done before the process to combine two organizations since the merger of our two parties was conducted.”

On remarks that he will unify the opposition candidacy with Kang Byeong-gi, the candidate for the Unified Progressive Party, by Kim Gyeong-soo, a member of the pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction and his party’s candidate for South Gyeongsang Governor, Ahn said, “We already established the principle that unifying candidates with the Unified Progressive Party is impossible. There is no change,” in ruling out the possibility.