There is growing competition not only among candidates for the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s chairman but also among those vying for the supreme council in the run-up to the party’s national convention on August 28. The party holds two separate elections for chairman of the party and the supreme council. However, as Rep. Lee Jae-myung is highly likely to run for the leadership position, a squad of lawmakers on the pro-Lee front seemingly intends to jump into the race for the supreme council.
A hawkish group of first-time lawmakers in the Democratic Party seems competitively eager for the election for supreme council members. “Cheoreomhoe,” known as a pro-Lee club of first-time Democratic lawmakers, will highly likely produce candidates for the supreme council such as Kim Nam-kuk, Yangyi Won-young and Lee Su-jin (Seoul Dongjak B) in the forthcoming party convention just as Kim Yong-min and Choe Kang-wook from the club became part of the supreme council.
A group of political leaders close to Rep. Lee Jae-myung said in a press conference on Friday that they oppose the reduced range of powers of the chairman of the party, demanding that party members and public opinions surveys have more say, to back Lee for party chairman. “This party convention will turn into a platform to represent party supporters’ determination to bring about reform,” said a member of the Cheoreomhoe club.
Rep. Han Jun-ho, then chief secretary of Lee’s presidential campaign for the recent election, thinks over his running for the supreme council. “I have been thinking of joining the competition but I will talk to those who intend to run the race and help out likely candidates out of them,” Han told reporters. Rep. Jang Kyung-tae also implied his intentions to run for the supreme council, saying that he will join the race once he makes up his mind following a nationwide workshop of young lawmakers. Rep. Ko Young-in, who serves as an operation director of “Deomincho” or a group of first-time lawmakers in the party, is expected to be one of the possible candidates on the list.
Rep. Ko Min-jung is in effect the only possible candidate for the supreme council on the pro-Moon side whereas many from the pro-Lee group seem ready to run for the election. It has been reported that she is giving some serious considerations to her candidacy until the last minute in consultation with pro-Moon leaders and acquaintances. Two-time lawmaker Kim Seung-nam and first-time lawmaker Kim Hoi-jae from the Honam region or the traditional support base of the party, are also expected to run the race.
Some predict that three-time lawmaker Seo Young-kyo among senior members will also join the race. “In some recent party conventions, candidates carried out election campaigns by making phrases that combine candidate numbers for party chairman and supreme council member such as ‘114’ and ‘337,’” said an insider of the party. “Likewise, candidates for both elections will work in a strategic alliance in the upcoming convention as well.”
Dong-Jun Heo firstname.lastname@example.org