With less than 90 days left before this year’s South Korean presidential election, computer software mogul Ahn Cheol-soo has announced his presidential bid as an independent, turning the campaign into a three-way race.
A former physician, founder of a software company and a professor at Seoul National University, the 50-year-old Ahn last week suddenly became a dark-horse candidate popular among voters in their 20s and 30s.
Even before his announcement, polls showed Ahn closing in on Park Geun-hye, 60, a five-term legislator with the ruling New Frontier Party who is seen as the strongest candidate to succeed President Lee Myung-bak.
Park, the first female presidential candidate in Korea, is the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, who ruled Korea from 1961 until his assassination in 1979.
Some analysts noted that Ahn’s entry in the race could draw votes away from