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South Korea election

With candidate battered, South Korea conservatives size up Ahn

Yoon's scandals push opposition toward the country's version of 'Bill Gates'

Presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl, left, embraces People Power Party leader Lee Jun-seok on Jan. 6 after ending their feud. Yoon has plunged in the polls amid a series of controversies.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- Two months before South Korea's presidential election, a series of scandals hitting the conservative People Power Party has some in the main opposition looking to unite with a third-party candidate to tip the scales in the race.

The March 9 election was seen until recently as a close contest between the progressive Lee Jae-myung and the conservative Yoon Seok-youl. But disarray in Yoon's camp has fueled support for centrist Ahn Cheol-soo of the relatively small People's Party, triggering debate over whether the opposition should head into the vote divided or united behind a single candidate. Lee represents the ruling Democratic Party.

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