Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, once considered to be a prospective presidential candidate in his home country South Korea, has ruled out a run for the job, saying he was “disappointed at the selfish ways” of some politicians.
Ban told reporters on Wednesday at parliament, after meeting conservative party leaders, that he had been subject to “malign slander akin to character assassination” in the media and had given up his “patriotic” plan to lead political change.
It would be “pointless to find a common path with them,” he said.
Ban arrives in South Korea and hints at presidency bid
While Ban never officially confirmed his intention to run, he hinted in several interviews that he wanted to work towards unifying the country that has been divided over a corruption scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye.
“With all kinds of fake news, my intention for political change was nowhere to be seen and all that was left was grave scars to my family and myself, and to the honour of the UN, where I spent the past 10 years,” he said.
South Korea has been gripped by political crisis for months amid a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the president. If the impeachment vote is upheld by the Constitutional Court, she will have to quit and an election would be held two months later.
A ruling is expected as soon as late this month.
Ban, 72, returned to South Korea on January 12 after serving 10 years as UN secretary-general. He was unable to capitalise on his much-anticipated homecoming, mired in a series of perceived PR gaffes and a scandal involving family members.
The media leapt on a series of minor blunders, for instance when he took the airport express train instead of a limo on his return to South Korea, but did not know how to buy a ticket.