September 3, 2011
The possibility that Ahn Cheol-Soo will be a candidate in the 26 October 2011 Seoul mayoral election has made the race considerably more interesting.
Ahn is the founder of Korea’s largest anti-virus software company and considered to be a pioneer in Korea’s new economy. He holds a substantial degree of influence in the business sector, and importantly, would also be able to attract a large youth vote. In 2009, Ahn commenced a nationwide public speaking tour on global and national issues affecting Korean society, which proved highly popular with groups in their 20s and 30s.
If positioned as an independent, Ahn would also attract a degree of support from those disaffected by mainstream political parties in the wake of ongoing corruption allegations and continuing policy failures.
As a medical doctor, professor, self-taught computer entrepreneur, and corporate leader—Ahn is representative of everything mainstream Korea dreams of becoming.
While Ahn is yet to confirm his participation, the media interest in his current public speaking tour demonstrates the challenge he would represent to other potential candidates.