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Intra-PPP conflicts occur before party leader election

Posted May. 25, 2021 07:36,   

Updated May. 25, 2021 07:36


With the race for the leadership of the party under way, the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) has entered a new front due to the head-on collision of supporters of leading external faces such as former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol, former Deputy Prime Minister of Economics Kim Dong-yeon and Chairman of Board of Audit and Inspection Choi Jae-hyung vs. candidates who are close to Yoo Seung-min, a former lawmaker and PPP member, who is a potential presidential runner of the party.

Na Kyung-won, a former PPP lawmaker, said in an interview with CBS Radio on Monday that if only a few factions rule the party, candidates from outside may find it hard to move forward, targeting pro-Yoo Seung-min candidates such as first-term lawmaker Kim Woong and former PPP member Lee Jun-seok. She went on to emphasize that it all comes down to how open the door of the PPP is to many opposition candidates. “The leader of the PPP is not supposed to ride a fancy sleek convertible car but to drive a fully loaded cargo truck making the party’s way through the narrow alley. Former PPP floor leader Joo Ho-young said on Facebook, “I am ready to put all capable talents across fields, generations and regions on a high-speed KTX to achieve shift of power.” Mr. Joo and Mrs. Na have recently referred to three external presidential candidates more often than before.

Former PPP member Lee Jun-seok met with reporters in Daegu on the day, saying, “The party has a schedule to follow and its own opinions to review.” It is important to create a favorable environment for external candidates to join but it is not the right thing to do to set an extra schedule plan or make additional rules, said Lee. Rep. Kim Woong said in an interview with Monthly ShinDongA magazine that if new candidates from outside abruptly join the party, it can serve as a seed for internal dispute, adding that pan-opposition unity will automatically follow the advancement of the party.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who had joined the Bareun Party along with Mr. Yoo when the nation was in the middle of impeachment controversy, posted on Facebook on Monday, “I’ve seen a brighter future of the party in first-term lawmakers and those who have not been part of the National Assembly yet. They show us lively thoughts, think-out-of-the-box approaches and decentralized vision.” He in effect endorsed Kim Woong and Lee Jun-seok. Mrs. Na said with a backlash that Mayor Oh pays too much attention to the party convention despite being busy taking care of city governance, sarcastically adding, “He may hope to see a pushover become the leader of the party so that she can have easy control.” Rep. Kim Eun-hye, a first-term National Assembly lawmaker but not a pro-Yoo figure, wrote on Facebook, “I know how safe it is to stand under the umbrella of someone else but it is just a vestige of outdated politics.”

Sung-Yeol Yoo ryu@donga.com