The ruling Minjoo Party of Korea has initiated discussion with the Open Minjoo Party, its satellite party, on inter-party unity within this year in an effort to win over the hearts of supporters as there has recently been no marked increase in public support of Minjoo Party’s presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung.
Senior spokesperson Koh Yong-jin of the ruling party said in a briefing on Thursday that Minjoo Party Chairman Song Young-gil and Open Minjoo Party Chairman Choi Kang-wook exchanged opinions on the two party’s integration to conclude that it will happen soon. “It is only natural that we unite because we share common values,“ said Koh adding that it will turn out to be a harmonious integration.
The Open Minjoo Party was founded right before the April 15 general elections of last year for the sake of proportional representatives. Owning three seats in the National Assembly, the party is supported mainly by those on the extreme left of the political spectrum. As it has not yet selected any presidential candidate, Lee will likely remain the one to represent the two parties at one go without any separate procedures required for single candidacy.
Rep. Woo Sang-ho, one of the main negotiators on the ruling party’s side, held a press conference on Thursday afternoon in the National Assembly, saying that a united party will create a significant synergy effect among supporters in the upcoming presidential election. “The sooner, the better. It is all about winning the presidential election so inter-party integration should happen beforehand,” he said.
In response to such discussions exchanged by the ruling party and its satellite party, the main opposition People Power Party disregarded it as a meaningless attempt. PPP’s senior spokesperson Heo Eun-ah made remarks on Thursday that it is the ruling party’s calculus that it does whatever it takes to attract public support which has only been decreasing with the Last Judgment coming up. She went on to criticize that their attempts to unite only end up as a mere collusion – nothing more and nothing less.
Lee Jung-mi, the progressive minor Justice Party’s joint senior head of the election committee, pointed out that those at the center of controversy over the satellite party will be held accountable for wreak havoc on democratic politics, adding that she doubts that the ruling party has ever felt any pinch of shame and embarrassment.