Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea claimed a victory in the party’s second primary race Wednesday, taking him one step closer to becoming a candidate in the presidential election slated for May 9.
The former party chief won 47.8 percent of the primary votes in the second round of four planned regional primaries for the Daejeon-Chungcheong region, beating his rival South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung in the latter’s home ground.
Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in (left), beside his rival An Hee-jung, celebrates after winning the second primary race in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
“I am very glad to gain such support here as well and would like to thank the voters in (South and North) Chungcheong provinces,” Moon told the reporters after the result was announced at the Chungmu Gym in Daejeon.
He said the outcome reflects the voters’ hope for a complete regime change, and also praised his fellow rivals.
Gov. An, who sought to win marking a big margin in the regional voting, faced a disappointing loss, garnering 36.7 percent. Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung came in third with 15.3 percent, as Goyang Mayor Choi Sung posted at 0.2 percent.
Moon had previously secured a landslide victory in the first primary in the southwestern city of Gwangju for the Honam region which includes Jeolla province, a region thought of as a bastion for liberal parties.
“An must have had won over 60 percent to increase his chance against Moon. Now it seems like ‘mega-trend Moon’ will hold prominence in the party’s primary,” said Lee Jung-hee, a political professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
The party’s presidential candidate will be decided next Monday when the outcome of the last primary for the metropolitan area including Seoul and Gangwon Province will be announced. The party would hold a run-off vote in case there is no majority winner.
By Jo He-rim (email@example.com)