South Korean opposition far apart on presidential deal

November 20, 2012 - 4:48:35 am

SEOUL: With a week until a deadline to finalise nominations for South Korea’s December 19 presidential election, neither of two main opposition challengers appears willing to step aside, which will likely mean the conservatives retain the country’s most powerful office.

Moon Jae-in, who has been nominated by the main left-of-centre opposition party, has held talks with independent Ahn Cheol-soo over a joint platform that could lead to a single candidate, but the talks have been bedevilled by infighting and leaks, with neither side appearing willing to give way.

“If I yield arbitrarily, it would be equivalent of breach of trust (for my party)” Moon said.

Ahn declined to be drawn on whether the two sides could agree on a single candidate.

Opinion polls show that either Moon or Ahn would stand a chance of beating conservative Park Geun-hye in a straight fight.