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Choice of Donggyo-dong faction over April 29 elections

Posted April. 04, 2015 07:24,   


The Donggyo-dong faction, under direct leadership of the late former President Kim Dae-jung, helped Rep. Park Jie-won, who trumpeted the idea of separating the party leadership and the presidential candidacy, at the February 8 convention of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy. Even First Lady Lee Hee-ho stepped in to support him, saying, “You should succeed without fail.” Rep. Park won in the aspect of voter sentiment among party members with voting right and those without it, but he suffered loss to Rep. Moon Jae-in in opinion polls conducted among ordinary people. Afterwards, members of the faction expressed discontent and anger. “Pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction members always play game through opinion polls, and try to monopolize interests to end up damaging the party,” one member said. “They are the ones who messed up inter-Korean relations through independent council probe due to their transfer of money to North Korea, after breaking off the New Millennium Party that helped make Roh the president?” said another.

When the Donggyo-dong faction paid respects at Kim Dae-jung’s tomb on Tuesday, former lawmaker Lee Hoon-pyeong said, “Please raise your hands those who support the idea of Kwon Noh-kap, an advisor for the party, who supports the party and its leader Moon Jae-in at the April 29 re-election and by-elections.” None of more than 60 people in the group raised hands. When asked “not to support Moon,” all of them raised hands. Criticizing Reps. Chung Dong-young and Chun Jung-bae, who are running in the April 29 elections after bolting from NPAD, Kwon has said he would help NPAD, but his compatriots in the Donggyo-dong faction have different views.

Kwon is poised to start supporting Moon on Sunday by participating at a "Dialogue with Veteran" event with Moon. The Donggyo-dong faction has no reason to help Chung and Chun, who took lead in the move to break off the Kim Dae-jung-led party to establish the Uri Party spearheaded by the pro-Roh faction. Kwon said that he forgave Chung who demanded Kwon’s resignation right in front of President Kim Dae-jung after becoming the party’s leader due to Kwon’s backing, but he still would have some regret about Chung.

Members of the Donggyo-dong faction say, "If NPAD wins in the re-election and by-elections, NPAD and its leader Moon will claim as their achievement. If the party loses despite the Donggyo-dong faction’s backing, they will say the Donggyo-dong faction’s influence has waned.” It is uncertain whether Moon will be able to display sincerity and political capacity that will help address such distrust. It also remains unknown whether the Donggyo-dong faction will be able to continuously maintain such strong solidarity under the slogan of "anti-Roh Moo-hyun" as it does now.