The tenure of current United Nations secretary General Ban Ki-moon is about coming to an end and as he looks ahead to the future, there has been talk of the possibility of him running for South Korea’s Presidency.
He is the favorite to be the next President but the question remains; does he want the job? If he does, a clean reputation, a recognizable name and a lack of other interesting candidates is likely to put him over the top for the role.
South Korea’s December 2017 elections would, however, be a vastly different political circle from what Ban Ki-moon is currently used to. The United Nations reeks of global diplomacy that is mostly gentle and suggestive. The political arena of South Korea’s presidency is more bruising. Ban Ki-Moon’s family and finances would definitely receive more scrutiny and his impact would be measured more rigidly.
Ban Ki-moon has not yet disclosed his intentions for South Korea’s presidency completely. He told Reuters last week that he will decide on his future when he returns to South Korea in January after his U.N. tenure finishes at the end of the year.
He has, however, declared at another time that he was conscious of “expectations from many people in Korea that I should make myself available for a better future of Korea.”
Ban Ki-Moon is not wrong in his perception, as Koreans do take great pride in him as the “president of the world” and opinion polls show Ban as the front-runner for the election next year. There are, however, some things working against him which include lack of a political base at home and the fact that he is currently 72 years old.
There is also the fact that Mr. Ki-moon has been dogged by a characterization of him being a weak leader. One U.N. diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity said of him;
“He hasn’t had the ability to really drive international opinion on any of these big issues and he’s tried to do the job as sort of best friends of every member state.
“You can’t do that when there’s a morally right position and a morally wrong position.”
Ban Ki-moon has defended himself from those characterisations by insisting in an interview in his office at U.N. headquarters in New York that there are “many different leadership styles”.