The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy announced Thursday
that the party will field candidates for lower-level administration chiefs and councilors in the June local elections, reversing an earlier pledge to abolish the nomination system altogether.
The party reached the decision after a public opinion survey and an intra-party vote showed that 53 percent were in favor of maintaining the current system.
"The results reflect 50 percent of the vote from each side, the party member voters and public opinion survey. Fifty-three.4-4 percent were in favor of the party nomination system while 46.56 were against it."
This means the party will select its own candidates to run in the local elections that are under two months away.
Earlier, the party's co-leader Ahn Cheol-soo said he would respect the survey results and follow them.
The ruling Saenuri Party immediately criticized the move, saying the newly unified opposition party had already thrown away its bid for 'new politics' by overturning numerous promises.
New politics has been Ahn's trademark policy since entering politics in 2012.
He says it's aimed at restoring public confidence in politics by eliminating corruption and having politicians lay down their vested interests.
"Abolishing the party-centered nomination system was a key campaign pledge of both the ruling and opposition parties during the 2012 presidential campaigns with many believing it acts as a breeding ground for bribery and corruption.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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