Another roundup from MH’s best political coverage.
- Triple Trouble: One of the cardinal rules of Korean politics — don’t celebrate too early. This rule apparently was lost on the NFP. Three current and former NFP Assembly members — Hong Sa-deok, Song Yeong-seon and Lee Jae-yeong — were either indicted or put under investigation for bribery charges in the last week. The cases of Hong and Song are particularly damaging to Park Geun-hye, as Hong is the co-chair of Park’s presidential campaign, and Song directly referenced Park’s name as she was asking for bribes.
- The Dead Presidents: The first official act of Ahn Cheol-soo as a presidential candidate was to visit the tombs of Rhee Syngman, Park Chung-hee and Kim Dae-jung. As a progressive-leaning politician, Ahn’s visit to Park’s grave was particularly meaningful. Afterwards, Ahn offered his view on the light and dark of the three former presidents on his Facebook page. Ahn called Rhee “another unfortunate president,” and vowed to learn from the past mistakes and the lessons of April 19 Protests. Ahn said Park laid the foundation of Korea’s industry, but privitized power beyond law and order. Kim, accordingly to Ahn, overcame the financial crisis, set the foundation for the welfare state and took the first step toward reconciliation with North Korea, but contributed toward the economic polarization of the country.
- Bouncy Bounce: Ahn enjoyed his own version of “convention bounce”. By announcing his candidacy, he immediately erased the double-digit lag between himself and Moon Jae-in. In a head-to-head match up with Park Geun-hye, Ahn pulled beyond the margin of error, 48.3% to 42.5%. Even Moon pulled ahead of Park beyond the margin of error in a head-to-head, 48.1% to 42.3%.