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Two-way race to start for ruling party leadership

Posted July. 06, 2020 07:29,   

Updated July. 06, 2020 07:29


Rep. Woo Won-shik decided not to run in the ruling Democratic Party’s national convention in August that will elect its new leader. As Reps. Hong Young-pyo and Woo Won-shik have declared withdrawal of their candidacies for the election, the party’s August 29 national convention has been transitioned into a two-way race between Rep. Lee Nak-yeon and former lawmaker Kim Boo-kyum. With Lee poised to declare his candidacy on Tuesday, and Kim on Thursday, the Democratic Party of Korea is fast switching into a national convention mode.

When declaring his candidacy for the party’s chairmanship at the Communications Hall at the National Assembly on Tuesday, Rep. Lee is expected to deliver a speech focused on responsibility to overcome the national crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To buttress the candidacy of Lee, who is hailing from the Jeolla region, Lee Kang-chul, former senior presidential secretary during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, will take charge of the party’s organization in the Daegu and North Gyeongsang region, while Rep. Choi In-ho, who is considered part of the pro-Moon Jae-in faction in the party, is mobilizing supporters among pro-Moon politicians in the Busan and South Gyeongsang region.

When declaring his candidacy at the party’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul on Thursday, former lawmaker Kim will try to distinguish himself from Rep. Lee by focusing on the keywords of a responsible party leader (compared with Lee who will run for the presidency) and former President Roh Moo-hyun. Kim pins his hope on a group within the party who calls for the need to check Rep. Lee, a leading presidential candidate of the party.

Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com