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Lee, Yoon have bilateral debate next Monday

Posted January. 29, 2022 07:16,   

Updated January. 29, 2022 07:16


The two candidates have agreed to have a four-way debate scheduled next Thursday with minor opposition People's Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo and minor progressive Justice Party candidate Sim Sang-jeong. However, it is still up in the air whether it occurs as planned when Ahn and Sim complaint about the two main contenders’ TV-aired bilateral debate.

Following a tug-of-war, the ruling party and the main opposition on Friday reached agreement that their bilateral debate will happen before a four-way event opens. Rep. Park Joo-min, who is in charge of the ruling party’s broadcasting, debates and content strategies, issued a statement on Friday afternoon to confirm‎ Lee’s joining of the bilateral debate with Yoon next Monday. Lee made the party’s message clear to Yoon that he will join the scheduled debate next Monday, calling on Yoon to be part of a four-way debate with no strings attached. “I hope that Yoon will join debates with other more contenders even though he may find himself at a disadvantage,” Lee told reporters on Friday. “Yoon needs to admit that he has avoided debates no matter what excuses he makes. Regrettably, he seems to demand conditions that only hold back debates.”

Rep. Sung Il-jong, the PPP’s lead negotiator for debates, said in response, “We welcome the Minjoo Party’s acceptance of the bilateral debate next Monday and the four-way debate next Thursday as proposed by our party,” requesting that working-level negotiations start immediately. Yoon also said to the press, “I hope to have bilateral debates with Lee.” He showed his confidence by proposing to open debates with media coverage involved in meeting rooms at the National Assembly, for instance, if a court’s ruling makes it impossible to hold bilateral debates in public broadcasting studios.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com · Hoon-Sang Park tigermask@donga.com