- "I Will Take on the Tasks Given to Me by This Generation," Ahn Cheol-soo Announces His Run for Presidency
- By Ahn Hong-wuk, Jang Eun-gyo
On this day, Ahn held a press conference at the Salvation Army Art Hall in Chungjeongno, Seoul, and announced that he had thought long and hard before resolving to take on the heavy responsibility of running the country. He declared, "I will now take on the tasks given to me by this generation."
The 18th presidential election will now be a three-way race among Park Geun-hye of the Saenuri Party, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party, and Ahn Cheol-soo.
Ahn Cheol-soo, Dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University announces his presidential bid and conveys his position at a press conference at the Salvation Army Art Hall in Seoul on the afternoon of September 19. Seo Seong-il
Ahn talked about how he met with voters after publishing his book, Ahn Cheol-soo's Thoughts in July, and claimed, "The people all said, 'politics shouldn't be like this,' that 'we should try politics differently.' Political reforms should start from the election process."
He continued, "Politics has to change for our lives to change, and the key to this change lies in the hands of the people. Crying for integration, while turning half of the people against you is hypocrisy."
Ahn also mentioned, "If we continue with base negative campaigns and mudslinging, we will divide the people. Then even if we win the election, we will only gain the support of half the public." He added, "I would like to make a proposal to presidential candidates Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in. Why don't we get together and promise a competition on good faith based on policies with the public as our witness?"
He claimed, "The old system and future values are colliding in the Republic of Korea. We must now redirect the old current towards a new future. We cannot pioneer the future with a political system that cannot reflect the will of the people, an economic system with a widening gap between rich and poor, which cannot create jobs, a social system, which blocks social mobility, and a structure overprotecting the Establishment, which does not provide fair opportunities."
On the issue of merging his campaign with the other opposition candidate, he simply stated, "What is important is true change and innovation in the political circle along with the people's consent. Discussions of a single opposition candidate are inappropriate in a situation where these two conditions are not met."
Ahn continued his statement and said, "I have changed careers a few times, but I never once quit part-way. Even if I lose in the presidential election, I hope to make a positive contribution to our country's development by working as a politician."
He announced, "I will resign as dean of the graduate school and as director of Ahnlab. If I am elected, I plan to donate to society my remaining shares in Ahnlab."
Former Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hun-jai, writer Jo Jung-rae, lawyers Jung Yeon-son and Ha Seung-chang, professors Kim Min-jeon (Kyunghee Univ.), Kim Ho-ki (Yonsei Univ.), and Kim Hyungkee (Kyungpook National Univ.), and Jeong Jihoon, the Director of Myongji Hospital's IT Convergence Institute were present at the press conference.
Ahn will begin his presidential campaign by visiting the Seoul National Cemetery on September 20.