Ban back in S. Korea, hints at pres­i­den­tial bid

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

he’ll seek di­verse opin­ions about his re­turn to South Korean pol­i­tics. “Based on my talks with peo­ple, I will make a de­ci­sion that will be free from self­ish mo­tives. That de­ci­sion won’t take long,” he said.

Elec­tion in De­cem­ber

Opin­ion polls show Ban is one of the fa­vorites to suc­ceed Park. The Con­sti­tu­tional Court is cur­rently de­ter­min­ing whether to for­mally end Park’s rule and hold a new elec­tion.

The op­po­si­tion-con­trolled Par­lia­ment im­peached Park last month over her al­leged role in an ex­plo­sive cor­rup­tion scan­dal. South Korea is orig­i­nally sched­uled to hold a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in De­cem­ber.

Ban’s main po­ten­tial ri­val is Moon Jae-in, a for­mer lead- er of the largest op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Party who lost the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to Park. A sur­vey re­leased this week by Real­me­ter showed Moon had a 27.9 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing com­pared to Ban’s 20.3 per­cent. The sur­vey of 1,511 re­spon­dents had a mar­gin of er­ror of 2.5 points.

Many South Kore­ans have taken great pride in him be­cause they think Ban’s UN job rep­re­sents their coun­try’s rise in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

Mean­while, two rel­a­tives of Ban were charged in the United States in an in­dict­ment un­sealed on Tues­day with plot­ting to bribe a Mid­dle East of­fi­cial to in­flu­ence the $800 mil­lion sale of a build­ing com­plex in Viet­nam.

KIM HONG-JI / REUTERS

For­mer UN chief Ban Ki-moon kisses a boy upon his ar­rival at the In­cheon In­ter­na­tional Air­port in In­cheon, South Korea, on Thurs­day.

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