People's Party Starts Primary for Presidential Nominee... Ahn Cheol-soo Expected to Win

People's Party Starts Primary for Presidential Nominee... Ahn Cheol-soo Expected to Win

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- The minor centrist People's Party kicked off its primary Saturday with many expecting the weekend elections to determine its presidential nominee.

   The primary was being held in Gwangju, 329 kilometers southwest of Seoul, the nearby South Jeolla Province and the southern island of Jeju, with participation from all eligible voters regardless of their party affiliation. It was also held without pre-registration.'

 Gwangju and the southwestern Jeolla provinces have long been the traditional stronghold of the nation's liberal camp.

   The People's Party, which was founded by defectors from the liberal Democratic Party, also has about half of its members in the region.

   On Sunday, a primary will be held in North Jeolla Province.

   Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, one of the party's founders, is seen as the likely winner in the three-way race that also involves former opposition leader Sohn Hak-kyu and Deputy National Assembly Speaker Park Joo-sun.

   The People's Party is the third-largest party in the unicameral parliament.

   It is set to nominate its standard-bearer on April 4 ahead of the presidential election on May 9.
 

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