Lee, Yoon express willingness to include other candidates in TV debate
SEOUL-- The presidential candidates of the ruling and main opposition parties expressed willingness Wednesday to include other contenders in their planned TV debate after a court ruled against it being held one-on-one.
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and main opposition People Power Party (PPP) had proposed a debate between their respective nominees Lee Jae-myung and Yoon Suk-yeol for airing by the three main broadcasters KBS, SBS and MBC on Sunday or Monday.
But Ahn Cheol-soo, the candidate of the minor opposition People's Party, sought an injunction and the Seoul Western District Court granted his request Wednesday.
"I would like to have a multilateral debate even now," Lee told reporters during a campaign event in Bucheon, west of Seoul, after the decision was announced.
"Whether it's four-way or five-way, I would like to have a multilateral debate in a way that adheres to the law and follows common sense and reason, and gives everyone a fair chance," he said.
The PPP presidential campaign committee said in a statement that it respects the court's decision and will begin talks with the DP for a multilateral debate.
"Candidate Yoon Suk-yeol and the People Power Party have no issues with a multilateral debate," it said.
Ahn described the court's decision as a "natural outcome" and an expression of the people's judgment of "a politics of vested rights, collusion and the old order."
The minor progressive Justice Party welcomed the ruling and called for immediately expanding the planned debate.
The party's presidential candidate Sim Sang-jeung has filed a separate injunction request against the one-on-one format.
According to a Realmeter poll of 1,018 adults conducted Monday and Tuesday, Yoon led the pack with 44.7 support, followed by Lee at 35.6 percent, Ahn at 9.8 percent and Sim at 3.9 percent.
The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
Source: Yonhap News Agency