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Governor Lee welcomes Yoon’s debut into politics

Posted June. 04, 2021 07:23,   

Updated June. 04, 2021 07:23


“The sooner the better.” One of the closest aides to Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myeong said at a phone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday, referring to former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol’s impending foray into politics. It is interpreted that the Lee Jae-myeong camp is welcoming Yoon’s full-blown debut as politician since it will likely lead to forming a one-on-one contest between the two, boosting Lee’s chances of winning the candidacy within the ruling party.

It is reported that some of the pro-Lee Jae-myeong lawmakers had a meeting to have a discussion on how they will respond once Mr. Yoon joins the main opposition People Power Party as he certainly appears to in the near future. The latest polls are suggesting a neck-and-neck race between Yoon and Lee. “Yoon’s emergence as the main candidate is almost inevitable, so the focus of discussion is who will be able to get the better of him,” said a lawmaker of influence. The logic follows that Yoon’s entrance into the race can dispel concerns about postponing the internal election and have a positive effect on concentrating the partisan support on Governor Lee.

“The once imaginary enemy is fleshing himself out now, and it is a natural course of action to join our forces against a collective enemy,” said one of Lee’s other supporters. Lee’s camp is also welcoming the recent episode from the ruling Democratic Party where Party Chairman Song Young-gil is bent on bashing Yoon after apologizing for the controversies caused by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk.

The majority of ruling party officials hold a view that Yoon’s entrancing into the political sphere will instantly expose him to a harsh public scrutiny, and this will consequently chip away at his approvals. “Governor Lee has survived Korean politics for about a decade with the experience of running for the latest presidential election, but for Yoon, it is just beginning now,” said another lawmaker from the ruling party.

Dong-Jun Heo hungry@donga.com