DP narrows field of presidential contenders down to six in 1st-stage primary

SEOUL-- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Sunday narrowed its lineup of presidential contenders down to six in the first round of the party primary to pick its candidate in next year's presidential election.

The DP declared Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung, ex-DP chief Lee Nak-yon, ex-Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, ex-Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae and two others as the six final winners of the first-stage presidential primary.

The results are based on opinion polls conducted from Friday-Sunday on party members as well as unaffiliated voters outside the party.

Gangwon Gov. Choi Moon-soon and South Chungcheong Gov. Yang Seung-jo were eliminated.

Through 11 rounds of regional voting that will start in the central city of Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province on Aug. 7 and end in Seoul on Sept. 5, the DP is scheduled to select the final standard bearer to run in the March 9 presidential election on its ticket.

If no candidate wins more than half of the votes in the second round of the primary election, however, the DP will pick the winner through a final vote on Sept. 10, according to party officials.

Currently, Gyeonggi Gov. Lee is enjoying a solid lead over the other in-house presidential contenders, but some candidates, including Chung and Lee Nak-yon, have hinted at a potential alliance to outstrip the Gyeonggi governor.

"By presenting the most qualified candidate who meets the expectations of the people and party members, the DP will absolutely succeed in launching the fourth DP-affiliated presidency," DP Chairman Song Young-gil said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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