Acting President Announces He Will Not Run For Presidency in Upcoming Elections

Allison Bae , March 16, 2017, 9:57 a.m.

Acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday said he will not run for the presidency in fresh elections now slated for May 9.

"To stabilize government and fairly administer the presidential election, I've reached the conclusion that it is inappropriate for me to run in the election," said Hwang, who is seen as loyal to disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye and is popular among some conservative voters.

"From now on I would like to focus on the tremendous responsibility as the acting president," he added.

Hwang faced a barrage of criticism when rumors began to swirl that he had his eye on the presidency himself and would have to abandon his duties as acting president this close to the election. But the dwindling prospects of the Park loyalist camp after the mass defection of ruling-party lawmakers may also have played a role in his decision.

Candidate registration will take place on April 15 and 16, and incumbent public officials seeking to run must resign by April 9. The official campaign season will last from April 17 to May 6, with preliminary voting on May 4 and 5.

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