Figures outside the Assembly are increasing their presence for the next Presidential election. The people’s increasing interest in them is mainly because of their extreme distrust of established political circles.
Recently, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has become the most approved Presidential candidate for the election in a Hangil Research poll conducted on Oct. 17 and 18. Of the 1,000 respondents, 39.7 percent picked him, so he recorded an approval rating even higher than those of the seven behind him combined. In June, he won over 22.4 percent of the respondents and took the first place at the survey carried out by Macromill Embrain and the Munhwa Ilbo daily, too.
Political experts ascribe this to the so-called Ahn Chul-soo phenomenon, that is,voters are tired of established politicians and are trying to find someone fresh, outside of political circles. Most of their favorite potential candidates are such figures including Seoul City mayor Park Won-soon, South Chungcheong Province Governor Ahn Hee-jung, and Jeju Province Governor Won Hee-ryong.
Nonetheless, experts are still dubious about whether or not the figures’ high influence will endure after they get into the Assembly. “Many of those in the know think that even they will be unable to clear confirmation hearings perfectly unscathed,” one of them commented.