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(LEAD) Man jumps to death over liberal presidential hopefuls' delayed merger

2012-11-23 16:19

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     WANJU, South Korea, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- A 53-year-old man in a southwestern province has been found dead in a suicide with a note urging South Korea's two liberal presidential hopefuls to pick a single candidate to compete in the December election, police said Friday.

   The man, surnamed Yoo, jumped from the 13th floor of an apartment building the day before at 5:10 p.m. Thursday in Wanju, North Jeolla Province, 240 kilometers south of Seoul, after hanging a banner on his balcony addressing Moon Jae-in and Ahn Cheol-soo, the two liberal presidential contenders currently looking to pick a single champion for the upcoming election, the police said.

   A suicide note was also found in his house, which reads, "I think that (Moon and Ahn) are both great men, and I hope one will pull the wagon while the other helps push it in building a healthy welfare state."

   Police say the man appears to have consumed two bottles of soju, a local alcoholic beverage, before his death, adding that he may also have been watching Wednesday night's live televised debate between the two candidates held to help people make up their minds on who should take on rival conservative party candidate Park Geun-hye.

   Ahead of the country's presidential election slated for Dec. 19, the main opposition Democratic United Party's Moon and independent Ahn have been struggling to decide which of the two should be the unified candidate to compete against the conservative contender Park, as polls have shown they have little chance to win in a three-way race.

   All presidential contenders seeking to compete in the election must register with the National Election Commission by Monday.

   Meanwhile, both Ahn and Moon's camps on Friday delivered messages of condolence for the death.

   "Please accept our condolences. We are very sorry for the family's loss," Ahn's camp spokespeople Jeong Yeon-soon and Yoo Min-young said in a written commentary. "We will act in good faith and push hard to give our very best."

   "I give my deepest sympathy to Yoo, who cast away his valuable life for the merger," Woo Sang-ho, the communications chief of Moon's camp, said in a press briefing. "We will work toward a successful merger and not let his wishes go to waste."


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