Just two months away from the 20th presidential election, fights within the presidential candidate of the People Power Party Yoon Suk-yeol’s election preparatory committee are getting out of hand. After Lee Jun-seok ordered the press team’s swift responses to media reports at the central election preparatory committee’s meeting on Monday, the head of the press team Cho Soo-jin said she only listens to Yoon. Even after apologizing immediately following the meeting, Cho sent a YouTube video criticizing Lee to a few reporters. Lee stepped down from all positions in the election preparatory committee, saying that he was speechless after an apology that meant nothing. The disorder of the election preparatory committee’s leadership has been revealed and the members of the party are shocked at an unprecedented development.
The situation clearly shows utter disorganization within Yoon’s election preparatory committee that goes beyond personal conflicts between Lee and Cho. The launch of the election preparatory committee had been delayed for over a month as Yoon, the general chair of the election preparatory committee Kim Chong-in, and Lee fought over who will take the leadership of the committee. As the committee was launched and operated, it seemed like the disorganization was resolved. However, there were many comments that the committee is divided among groups led by Yoon, Kim Chong-in, and Kim Han-gil. Age-old faction politics seem to have come back. As such divisions are left unresolved, an unfathomable situation has unfolded within the presidential election preparatory committee that should put all its efforts into the campaign.
Yoon’s election preparatory committee has become massive as people flocked to gain rewards after the presidential election. Even internal members criticize themselves for having more frequent meetings without substance with no proper coordination of functions and roles. The age-old disease of the ‘well-being party,’ in which people settle for the vested rights and compete with each other for positions relying on the public desire for a new government.
Yoon cannot avoid criticism for his facile response to the situation. At the beginning of the incident, he said that is what democracy is regarding conflicts between Lee and Cho. He belatedly approached Cho to apologize to Lee but that did not stop Lee from stepping down. Active discussions regarding vision, policies, and strategies are needed within his election preparatory committee. However, it should not be a chaotic situation where members simply voice their opinions. Yoon should get directly involved to coordinate and resolve if there are any operational issues with the order and functions of the election preparatory committee, which should serve as the top team of the presidential campaign.