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Ban Ki-moon abandons South Korea presidency bid

Seoul, Feb 1: Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday renounced his presidential ambitions in a surprise decision likely caused by political offensives from rivals and a corruption scandal involving his family. His exit from the presidential competition is likely to embolden the current front-runner Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party and leave conservative parties scurrying to find his altertive, Yonhap news agency reported.

“I will give up my pure aspirations to achieve a change in politics under my leadership and unify the country,” Ban said during an impromptu press conference at the tiol Assembly. “I was very frustrated by (some of the political circles’) parochial, selfish attitudes and reached the conclusion that it is meaningless to move forward with them,” he added.

Ban did not formally announce his Presidential bid but indicated a strong willingness to run in the election even before his return to South Korea on January 12 after 10 years of service at the UN. Ban heaped opprobrium on those who have attacked him through what he called slander and “fake” news reports. “Over the short period of the last three weeks, I have talked about my ambitions to achieve grand tiol integration by unifying divided public opinion,” he said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita