dglobalnews.com Ban rules out running for South Korea's presidency
Published: Thu, February 02, 2017
Research | By Kayla Price

Ban rules out running for South Korea's presidency

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will not run for South Korea's presidency, a surprise announcement that removes a well-known figure from contention and further stirs the country's already tumultuous politics.

"I have made a decision to give up the pure intention of trying to lead political change and accomplish national reconciliation", he said.

"I will give up my pure aspiration to achieve a change in politics under my leadership and unify the country", Ban added.

Moon Jae-in, the leading presidential candidate from South Korea's opposition, said he expected "good competition" from Ban, and that he is "sorry" to hear his rival is quitting the race, local news service Newsis reported.

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A court is now deliberating about whether to accept Park's impeachment or restore her to power. A ruling is expected as soon as late this month. Park is facing ouster over her role in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal. She reportedly held sway over choosing government officials, Choi's wardrobe and helped in extorting millions of dollars from South Korean companies.

Although Ban has never announced his presidential bid in the country, the media has been closely following him and scrutinising his decisions ever since his return to South Korea on January 12. His clean image and global profile were dealt a blow with the indictment of his brother Ban Ki Sang and a nephew in the United States, in a bribery scheme involving a Vietnamese development project.

He returned to South Korea on January 12 after his second, five-year tenure in the top United Nations post terminated at the end of last year.

The media coverage and his family scandals have led to a fall in Ban's support rating to second place behind the presidential candidate of the main opposition Democratic Party - Moon Jae-in, after peaking at almost 30 per cent past year.

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