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Ahn’s bid for party leadership discomforts Pro-Yoon faction

Ahn’s bid for party leadership discomforts Pro-Yoon faction

Posted December. 09, 2022 07:52,   

Updated December. 09, 2022 07:52


Heated discussions are continuing over the ulterior intention behind President Yoon Suk-yeol when the date for a party convention to elect the next leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) has yet to be settled. President Yoon has expressed negative signs about the bid for party leadership from a potential candidate for the next presidential election.

The Pro-Yoon faction sticks to the stance that a candidate for the next presidential election should run for the party convention. This reflects the ruling party’s concern about the possibility of a candidate exercising his nomination right to “plant his confidants” for the presidential election, which might cause internal discord within the ruling party as the PPP pursues to reclaim the status of the majority party in the 2024 general elections to add stability to President Yoon’s rule in the administration.

“Typically, a potential presidential candidate running for a party convention can cause a little bit of disturbance within the party and to the incumbent president,” said Rep. Kim Jeong-jae on SBS Radio on Thursday, expressing concerns about lawmakers who tend to shift their loyalty towards the next power in office.

Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, considered a firm favorite for the next presidential election, has made it clear that he will run for the party leadership, vowing to establish the foundation to secure the majority of 170 seats and stay in power by spearheading the election campaign. “I am drawing a roadmap for me to get elected as party leader, reform the ruling party, win the general elections, rebuild the party into an all-out support of the Yoon administration, and keep the party in power,” Mr. Ahn said in a meeting with journalists in Busan on Thursday. He mentioned the presidential election in 2027 and the party convention when the Pro-Yoon policymakers practically are opposing Mr. Ahn’s run in the party convention.

Such controversies over President Yoon’s intention are closely related to the issue of the revision of the PPP’s convention rules. The Pro-Yoon faction is considering expanding the voting rate of party members from 70 to 90 percent. “Once his intention becomes clearer, the partisan votes will likely swing that way,” said an insider from the ruling party.

Dong-Joo Cho djc@donga.com