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NPAD female lawmakers boycott interim chief Park Young-sun

NPAD female lawmakers boycott interim chief Park Young-sun

Posted August. 13, 2014 05:02,   


This happened on Sunday evening, ahead of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy’s general meeting of lawmakers aimed at deciding whether the party will endorse the agreement reached between the ruling and main opposition party floor leaders. Forty-four hardline lawmakers of the party issued a statement, saying, “We demand renegotiation.” By faction and political ideology, they can be categorized into the pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction, the pro-Chung Sye-kyun faction considered to be part of the greater pro-Roh faction, and first- and second-term lawmakers with a hardline stance. Notably, as many as 12 of them were female lawmakers.

The NPAD has 25 women of its 130 lawmakers. One out of two female lawmakers demanded renegotiation, effectively boycotting Park Young-sun, the party’s floor leader and chairperson of its public sympathy and reform committee. Thus, "female comrades" expressed their objection to Park, the first female floor leader of a parliamentary negotiating block in Korea and its acting leader, who is spearheading efforts to reconstruct the party after its crushing defeat at the July 30 by-elections.

Some hardline female lawmakers telephoned other lawmakers throughout the weekend and urged them to endorse their statement. Members of "A Better Future," a first-term and hardline lawmakers’ group including Bae Jae-jeong, Yoo Eun-hye and Eun Soo-mi, contacted a group of first- and second-term lawmakers and lawmakers hailing from the Jeolla provinces to persuade the latter. Rep. Kim Sang-hee reportedly exerted efforts to persuade primarily veteran lawmakers.

Notably, Rep. Yoo is floor spokesperson for the party. As a staff member under Park came to effectively take the lead in criticizing decision made by her boss, a party member cynically commented, “Rebelling against superiors is nothing new here.”

Even when Rep. Kim Han-gil and Ahn Cheol-soo were co-chairing the NPAD, Rep. Shin Kyung-min and Woo Won-shik, members of the party’s supreme council who comprised its leadership, once joined hands with its first- and second-term hardline lawmakers and sought to hold party chairmen responsible. A veteran lawmaker said, “As nominations for the 2012 general elections were focused on the pro-Roh faction, female lawmakers who account for half (11 out of 23) of our lawmakers elected through the proportional representation system are inevitably members of the hardliner group,” fretting that, “A political party is not a civic group, and I have no idea what they have in mind as they seek to break negotiations, let alone trying to persuading bereaved families of victims in the Sewol sinking.”

On this development, Rep. Kim Sang-hee said, “I don’t want to talk about it,” while Rep. Yoo Eun-hye said, “I admit that Park’s negotiation holds significance, but we needed understanding of bereaved families.” The Dong-A Ilbo could not reach Rep. Bae Jae-jeong and Eun Soo-mi.