I’ve searched dictionary and found 2 words: 参选 and 竞选.
I’m a bit confused, since it seems that 参选 is used more, but in Vietnamese (my mother tongue) we used the word “tranh cử” (爭舉). So what is the correct word to use?
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Both 竞选 and 参选 are common with slight difference in usage. For example:
It's hard to pinpoint when one will be favoured over the other, but the examples above will seem weird if the other phrase is used. I think it's due to the literal translation of the phrase: 参选 means "enter the election" and 竞选 means "compete in an election". (or maybe it's just convention that dictates which one is favourable.)
If you want to specify what office one is running for, you can express it as "选 + name of office". For example: