SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo of the ruling People Power Party declared his bid for party leadership Monday, pledging to lead the party to victory in next year's general elections and emphasizing his bonds with President Yoon Suk Yeol.
Ahn, a former presidential candidate, dropped out of the race to support Yoon ahead of last year's presidential election. Ahn's party later merged with Yoon's PPP, and Ahn also served as the chief of Yoon's transition team.
"We should complete the change of government with an overwhelming victory in the general elections," Ahn said during a press conference to announce his bid for party chairmanship that will be decided in a national convention March 8.
"I merged my presidential candidacy with candidate Yoon Suk Yeol and was the chief of his transition team," Ahn said, likening their bond to one that shares a "common destiny."
So far, four-term Reps. Kim Gi-hyeon and Yoon Sang-hyun have declared their bids for the chairmanship race, with observers saying that Kim appears to have the support of Rep. Chang Je-won, one of Yoon's close confidants.
Five-term Rep. Cho Kyoung-tae is also expected to run, while former PPP lawmakers Na Kyung-won and Yoo Seong-min are considered strong potential candidates.