Two major candidates in the South Korean presidential elections join forces

Seoul, March 3 Conservative Yoon Suk-yeol, one of the two major contenders in the presidential elections to be held on the 9th in South Korea, today agreed to merge his candidacy with that of the centrist Ahn Cheol-soo, who is the third contender in voting intention and who will withdraw to give his support to the first. Yoon, of the opposition People’s Power Party (PPP), started next week’s elections in a very even position against the other main favorite, the liberal Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (PD), according to recent reports. polls, which give both around 40% support. The agreement announced this Thursday between Yoon and Ahn, of the Popular Party (PP), could be decisive in this context to tip the electoral balance in favor of the conservative candidate. Yoon said the joint bid “will create a successful government of national unity,” while Ahn said the two decided to join forces “to bring about a change for the better in the government,” at a joint press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. “We will prepare for an era of great transformations, changes and innovations,” the two politicians said in a joint statement. The agreement had been brewing for days, although it could not be closed until now due to the differences between the two forces, among which Ahn’s proposal to submit the decision on which of the two candidates would represent the joint candidacy to a popular vote. The announcement comes on the eve of the early voting period for the elections to be held next Wednesday and in which the South Koreans will elect their president for the next 5 years. A poll published on February 25 by Gallup Korea placed Yoon with an intention to vote of 37% of those consulted, slightly behind the liberal candidate Lee, with 38%. Ahn, meanwhile, was in third place with 12% support. Another consultation carried out this week by Embrain Public showed that Yoon would obtain more than 47% of the votes if he combined his candidacy with Ahn, surpassing Lee’s 41%. In order to win all the possible votes in this tight race, Lee himself yesterday merged his candidacy with another candidate, Kim Dong-yeon, who was Finance Minister in the first Cabinet of the current president, Moon Jae-in, and who it agglutinated less than 1% in voting intention. EFE asb-ahg/ics (photo)

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