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Opposition Party’s candidate nomination leaves a scar

Posted July. 09, 2014 04:18,   


The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy had a slanderous brawl over the nomination of a candidate for Seoul’s Dongjak-B constituency for the July 30 by-election on Tuesday. Ki Dong-min, former vice mayor of Seoul for political affairs accepted the party’s nomination, but Heo Dong-jun, former chief of the party’s committee for Dongjak-B and his supporters broke into the pressroom and their strong protest led to a scuffle. It showed the true color of the so-called “comrades of the 486 Generation” who were together in the student movement in the 1980s.

Ki officially declared his candidacy for the constituency in the pressroom of the National Assembly at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. It was in five days from when the party’s leadership announced its strategic nomination of candidates last Thursday. Ki applied for Gwangju’s Gwangsan-B constituency but the party leadership selected him for Seoul’s Dongjak-B to take advantage of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon’s image in the upcoming election.

When Ki started reading the declaration for his candidacy for the election, some 10 Heo supporters ran to the podium and pushed Ki away from it. They held signs reading “It was Heo Dong-jun who safeguarded Dongjak-B” and shouted, “We’re against strategic nomination.” Heo also jumped in. When Ki read, “I owe Heo, my 20-year long friend, a lifetime debt,” Heo shouted, “No!”

When Heo pushed Rep. Ryu Eun-hae who was standing behind Ki to support him, loud swearing was heard. Heo occupied the podium and said, “Kim Han-gil and Ahn Cheol-soo (co-leaders of the main opposition party) who made (him) stab in the back of his 20-year long friend must step down!” He added, “Those who accepted this are accomplices!”

Eventually, Ki had to leave the room without reading the script to the end. He left the room through the backdoor, not the front door. Ki said to reporters in the hallway close to the pressroom, “I understand the scream of an individual who has long safeguarded and committed to the region. I know how desperate he is but I have no choice but to go this way.” When Heo chased him in the hallway, Ki left the parliament hurriedly.

A party official said, disapprovingly, “I understand how Heo would feel but there is a line that a party member should follow.” Another party official said, “It clearly showed the reality of the 486 generation that is obsessed with a power struggle. Rep. Lee Seok-hyun, vice speaker of the National Assembly, said in an emergency party meeting, “Confusion over our party’s candidate nomination is going overboard. I’m concerned that all of us might collapse.”

Ki said in the interview paper that he distributed before declaration, “I will accept the party’s decision to bring victory to the party.” He added, “Seoul Mayor Park’s catchphrase for this election was ‘Seoul’s change, it cannot stop here.’ I’ve decided to do my best to bring in new changes in Dongjak-B.” He was determined to be a man of Park Won-soon under Park’s flag in the July 30 by-election. A big scar was left on Park’s flag, however.