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(LEAD) Ruling party kicks off 41-day nationwide primary voting to pick presidential candidate

All News 21:37 August 31, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday kicked off a 41-day nationwide voting process to choose its final candidate to run in next year's presidential election, party officials said.

The primary election voting on six DP presidential contenders started off on the inaugural leg of the central city of Daejeon and surrounding South Chungcheong Province earlier in the day. It will then move to 10 additional legs across the country, including the southern city of Gwangju on Sept. 25, to wrap up the final destination in Seoul on Oct. 10.

The six contenders, including Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung, former DP chief Lee Nak-yon and former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, will also follow the itinerary in person to give public speeches and rally support for their presidential campaigns.

This image shows the six presidential contenders of the Democratic Party. (Yonhap)

The results of the vote by members of each region, as well as the general public online, offline and through an automatic response system will be released on three occasions throughout the event's 41-day run, including on the event's final day on Oct. 10.

Party officials predicted the first round of such results to be announced on Sept. 12 may set the tone for the overall outcome of the primary election.

The DP plans to conduct an additional round of voting that will pit the primary's front-runner against the runner-up if the initial primary voting fails to produce a clear winner with more than half of the vote.

Currently, the Gyeonggi governor is enjoying a comfortable lead over his five rivals in the DP's primary race to pick its candidate for the March 9 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the main opposition People Power Party said 15 people registered their names for its presidential primary during the two-day registration period until Tuesday.

They included former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, former Board of Audit and Inspection Chairman Choe Jae-hyeong, former lawmaker Yoo Seung-min, former Jeju Province Gov. Won Hee-ryong and former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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