Updated July. 05, 2014 04:22
A top official at the ruling Saenuri Party urgently dialed a key aide to former lawmaker Chung Mong-joon on Friday morning. The call was made to ask whether Chungs wife, Kim Young-myung, could run for the party in Seouls Dongjak B District in the July 30 by-election.
Chungs side expressed difficulties because it has been just a month since the June 4 local elections in which Chung himself unsuccessfully ran for Seoul mayor, and because it would look hardly convincing to voters to see Chung effectively transfer what once was his own constituency to his wife. In a telephone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Chungs aide clarified by saying, We dont know what the partys view is, but we are not considering (Kims candidacy) at all.
The partys leadership attempted to have former Gyeonggi Governor Kim Moon-soo as its candidate for Dongjak B District once again, but Kim is apparently determined not to run. Hence, as the party seeks to find the next best option, it has come so far as to considering possible candidacy of "Chungs wife." Despite having contacted Chungs side, insiders in the party judge that there is little chance for the party to nominate Kim due to grave concern over possible backlash in public opinion. A top official at the party said, For now, we will continue to persuade former Governor Kim through Sunday.
As the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy decided to strategically nominate Ki Dong-min, former vice Seoul mayor for political affairs in Dongjak B District, there is a possibility that Saenuri also may seek to use a tactic to counter Ki. At a meeting of the nomination committee for the partys headquarters on the day, Yoon Sang-hyun, secretary-general of the Saenuri Party, said that the ruling party will adopt the best strategy to counter the opposition partys strategy to field "Mayor Park Won-soons avatar."
Former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who was mentioned as the next best option, told the Dong-A Ilbo on the day, I will depart for Rwanda in Africa to serve as an advisory group member of the Korea International Cooperation Agency as planned. As Oh made it clear that he would not run in the upcoming by-election, the ruling party is increasingly more anxious.