Former ruling party narrows down presidential contenders to 4
SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- The conservative Liberty Korea Party on Monday narrowed down its presidential contenders to four in the second round of its in-house competition to pick its single nominee for the May 9 presidential election.
The four contenders, who were picked through an opinion poll, were South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Hong Joon-pyo, former six-term lawmaker Rhee In-je, Rep. Kim Jin-tae. and North Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kwan-yong.
Hong, a tough-talking former prosecutor, has been rising in recent polls since Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, once bandied about as a conservative standard-bearer, announced last week that he will not run in the election.
In the latest weekly survey, released Monday by local pollster Realmeter, Hong garnered a 9.8 percent support rating, leading a pack of conservative presidential hopefuls.
Hong took fifth place in the poll where Moon Jae-in, former leader of the largest Democratic Party, ranked first with 36.6 percent. Moon was trailed by South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung with 15.6 percent; Ahn Cheol-soo, a former co-chair of the People's Party, with 12 percent; and Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung with 10.8 percent.
This image shows the log of the conservative Liberty Korea Party. (Yonhap)