Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:19PM
South Korea’s presidential elections have turned into a three-way competition as an independent candidate finally announced his candidacy. This software entrepreneur's presidential bid has been looming in the past year with strong support in several polls until recently.
Software entrepreneur-turned-professor Ahn Cheol-soo finally answered the long-awaited question concerning his future political ambition. Ahn’s presidential declaration turns this year’s South Korean presidential race into a three-way competition. Still, Ahn has already distuinguished himself from the other candidates. Ahn Cheol-soo finished his announcement to enter the presidential bid by saying, “I believe we can change the world.” However, as the “wild card” in the presidential race, Ahn is criticized for his unconventional politics while many worry this process will “soil” a man who has “brought hope.” Supporters carry this hope, calling him a “leader of the people.” Facing Park Geun-hye of the ruling party, and opposition party nominee Moon Jae-in, Ahn is attacked for lacking knowledge in politics. Ahn agrees, but suggests that his inexperience is his greatest strength to potentially restructure a system he deems broken. Despite his popularity, especially among young voters, Ahn is currently ranked third in opinion polls. Meanwhile, suspicions are running high that Moon and Ahn may help one another. The analyst added that Ahn’s popularity has declined since last year, in part due to some rumors which were soon proven false. Having no political system to follow, prior to his announcement, Ahn has released a book and appeared on a talk show - unlike the other two candidates who have been busy on their campaign trails.