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.
"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."
Both of the party's co-leaders said they would honor the results.
"From today, I will do my best to win the June local elections. We have a rough road ahead, but I ask for the support of our party members. If we do not bring about reform, we will not win in the next presidential elections."
"The party will field candidates for the June local elections. We will bring an end to the controversies over the nominating system. We will stop President Park Geun-hye and the ruling party from winning as they have broken their promises with the people."
The ruling Saenuri Party immediately criticized the decision, 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 he entered politics in 2012.
He says it's aimed at restoring public confidence 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."