A South Korean presidential front-runner who clashed with President Moon Jae-administration in’s suggested for the first time that he intends to run for president through the main opposition People Power Party, the conservative faction that has urged him to join this year.
Yoon Seok-youl, 60, told Yonhap TV on Thursday that if he joins the main opposition party, it will be “for the sake of changing the administration.”
“If I do run in an election, I ultimately have to join hands with the People Power Party and enter the party, don’t you think?” Yoon said, according to reports.
The candidate did not confirm whether he would join the main opposition by early next week, however.
Yoon’s remarks come after People Power Party leader Lee Jun-seok said on South Korea’s CBS Radio that he wants Yoon to bring his campaign to the main opposition no later than August.
Lee confirmed that he and his colleagues met with the Yoon campaign to discuss the situation.
Lee also stated that convincing an independent candidate to join the main opposition is unusual. It would also be “unreasonable” to admit Yoon to the party unless the candidate agreed to join by the end of the month, he said.
Yoon stated on Thursday that he spoke with Kim Chong-in, a veteran opposition politician, who confirmed Yoon would be allowed to join the party as late as November.
Yoon maintains his lead over rivals, including Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung, in most polls, but his support has been dwindling since June, according to local network MBN on Thursday.
Yoon has faced criticism for recent proposals, including the repeal of a government-endorsed 52-hour work week system. Yoon later clarified his position after local media reported that he supported longer work hours.