For­mer UN chief sec­ond in S.Korean pres­i­den­tial poll

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

For­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ban Ki-moon polled sec­ond in a sur­vey of South Korean pres­i­den­tial fa­vorites re­leased on Fri­day, 11 per­cent­age points be­hind for­mer op­po­si­tion leader Moon Jae-in, who led the Gallup Korea poll at 31 per­cent.

South Korea has been gripped by a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis since law­mak­ers voted over­whelm­ingly in De­cem­ber to im­peach Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye over an in­flu­ence-ped­dling scan­dal.

The mo­tion is now with the Con­sti­tu­tional Court and will trig­ger an early pres­i­den­tial elec­tion if up­held.

Ban, 72, re­turned to his na­tive South Korea on Thurs­day.

He has not yet de­clared his in­ten­tion to run in the up­com­ing pres­i­den­tial race, but said he would make a de­ci­sion on his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture soon.

On Fri­day, Ban vis­ited Seoul Na­tional Ceme­tery and the com­mu­nity cen­tre near his res­i­dence to reg­is­ter his Seoul street ad­dress, af­ter spend­ing the past decade based in New York as head of the UN.

The poll was con­ducted from Tues­day to Thurs­day and takes into ac­count news that two of Ban’s rel­a­tives were in­dicted by US prose­cu­tors over bribery al­le­ga­tions. Ban has de­nied any knowl­edge of his rel­a­tives’ af­fairs.

Ban’s younger brother Ban Ki-sang and his nephew Joo Hyun-bahn were ac­cused in a Manhattan fed­eral court on Tues­day of a scheme to bribe a Mid­dle East­ern of­fi­cial for an at­tempted $800 mil­lion sale of the “Land­mark 72” build­ing com­plex in Viet­nam.

Con­tro­versy around the build­ing deal linked to Ban’s rel­a­tives had been re­ported pre­vi­ously in South Korean media.

Moon, from the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Party, topped the poll at 31 per­cent – an 11 per­cent­age point in­crease on his ap­proval rat­ing in the same Gallup Korea poll for De­cem­ber.

Fel­low Demo­cratic Party can­di­date Lee Jae­myung trailed in third place with 12 per­cent ap­proval, a 6 per­cent de­crease since De­cem­ber.

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