In the race for candidacy to represent the Minjoo Party of Korea in next year’s presidential campaign, Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung has promised to put in place a state-run healthcare system to take special care of five groups of citizens – the elderly, patients, the disabled, children and infants. By contrast, former Minjoo Party Chairman Lee Nak-yon has made a pledge to make sure that his administration, if he is elected president, has the first prime minister from the Chungcheong provinces, gearing up to win over the hearts of its voters in the first region to run the ruling party’s primary.
Governor Lee held a press conference at Care Friends in Songpa District, Seoul, on Monday, saying, “It is a communal responsibility to take care of those in need of care and assistance. It is not supposed to require sacrifice of their family members nor to be regarded as a product selling in the market.” The Gyeonggi governor promised to expand national healthcare support of the five groups in most need of care. He went on to say that it matters to South Korea’s strategy to survive and grow further as it should respond to extremely low birthrates and a super aging society, pledging to extend day care services up to 7 p.m. at elementary schools and establish networks to assist the severely disabled in their daily lives 24/7.
Meanwhile, former Minjoo chairman Lee seems to bet on voters in the Chungcheong provinces prior to the ruling party’s online voting by eligible party members from Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province starting from Tuesday and its primaries scheduled to begin in South Chungcheong Province on Saturday. In a press conference at South Chungcheong Province Office on Monday, the former party chairman announced his determination to select a political leader from the region as the first prime minister in his administration if elected. Just as President Moon nominated him for the first prime minister as per his presidential pledge to select a political leader from the Jeolla provinces, Lee made a similar pledge for Chungcheong region. Asked if he has South Chungcheong Governor Yang Seung-jo in mind, he said, “I have already made my choice but I am not yet in a position to make it public.”
There is growing competition among other wannabe presidential candidates of the ruling party. Minjoo Lawmaker Park Yong-jin visited Jeju Island. Former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae asked for support in a series of conferences with party members of Daejeon, and Cheonan and Asan in South Chungcheong Province. Being self-quarantined due to COVID-19 contact, Minjoo Lawmaker Kim Doo-kwan said in a presidential pledge manifesto shared online that the Chungcheong region will have the nation’s administrative capital built if he is elected. Former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, staying in self quarantine, had an online discussion with party member of the Sejong region.