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Former interim head of Democratic Party to declare presidential bid

All Headlines 08:24 April 05, 2017

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- Kim Chong-in, a former interim chief of the liberal Democratic Party, was set to announce his running for president in the upcoming election Wednesday in what was widely viewed as an attempt to urge a coalition against the presidential front-runner he calls a radical.

Kim's presidential bid had been widely expected since his departure from the party early last month.

But few believe the former head of the country's largest party is earnestly running for president as he is often viewed as a kingmaker.

Former interim head of Democratic Party to declare presidential bid - 1

"It is my wish to see a new leader, who can resolve the ongoing political, economic and social conflicts, emerge," Kim said.

He also remains an outspoken critic of presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in of his former party, accusing him of practicing authoritarian leadership that he claims to despise.

Moon was named the presidential candidate of the largest party earlier this week after sweeping all four rounds of the party primary.

With Kim's self-declared bid, the number of potential contenders in the May 9 election has now come to at least eight.

All five political parties with parliamentary members have fielded their candidates. They include Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party, Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the conservative Bareun Party and Hong Joon-pyo, the standard-bearer of the former ruling Liberty Korea Party and incumbent governor of South Gyeongsang Province.

Others include Lee Jae-oh, a former lawmaker and close confidante of former President Lee Myung-bak, and former National Intelligence Service chief Nam Jae-joon.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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