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Network Theory in South Korea’s Presidential Election

2012 is an election year in South Korea. Last week, the direction of the presidential race has been completely changed because Ahn Cheol-soo who has been on top two of the presidential election poll for more than ten months, decided to run for the president of South Korea. Because he is not a member of major parties in Korea, Sae-nuri Party and Democratic Party, it is still surprising that he actually decided to run for president. Also, although he is well known in Korea as a former IT guru-turned-professor, his political experience and background are still in question. However, by applying Network theory to analyze political connection of people around Ahn, it is possible to reasonably guess Ahn’s political background and his future movement.

When Ahn first received attention as a potential presidential candidate, some said that the current administration or ruling party (Sae-nuri party) might be connected to Ahn, because he worked as a member of some committees directly belongs to the current administration. However, people around Ahn currently do not have connection to the ruling party. In fact, people who are close to Ahn, such as a current mayor of Seoul and most of his campaign staffs including Ahn’s campaign manager are or were members of Democratic Party or former administration. As a result, the presidential candidate of Sae-nuri party, Park Gune-hye considers Ahn as her enemy. In contrast, Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of Democratic Party, does not consider Ahn as an enemy, but is considering unifying with Ahn before the Election Day so that he can defeat Park. Ahn and Moon’s unification may form balanced graph among Park, Ahn and Moon. Therefore, a lot of people predict that Moon and Ahn will unify in the future to defeat their common enemy, Park Gune-hye and Sae-nuri party. Based on the analysis of Ahn’s network, since he may have similar political view and background to Moon, their unification would make even more sense. So, Ahn and Moon will challenge Park who has been on the top of the poll for several years, and now no one knows who will take the presidential mansion this December.


Upstart pres. contender to announce plans Wed. afternoon  – SEPTEMBER 18, 2012

Former IT guru`s popularity sweeps Korean political scene – JULY 23, 2012




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