The ruling People Power Party may elect its party leadership only through party member votes, planning to deliver the decision by Christmas. Although the faction that is not friendly towards President Yoon Suk Yeol strongly opposes the complete exclusion of non-party member votes, both newly-elected and re-elected representatives of the party held press conferences on Thursday in a show of support for the party leadership’s decision to revise the election rules.
Rep. Chung Jin-suk, chair of the ruling party’s emergency committee, emphasized that no country in the world adopts opinion polls to make decisions regarding the party’s general meeting. “This is to solicit general opinions of the party members, not to ascertain who is popular among the general public,” Chung said, implying that he intends to revise the current election method of taking 70 percent of votes from party members and 30 percent of votes from opinion polls by lowering the percentage of opinion polls to zero. “The future trajectory of the party should be determined by its members. I will develop a modified version of the party leadership election rule that is sincere to the principle of party democracy.”
The emergency committee is set to complete the revision by Christmas. Earlier, the party leadership reviewed a proposal to lower the percentage of opinion polls to 10 percent but finally agreed to count only party member votes. Rep. Kim Haeng, an emergency committee member, also argued that leadership elections should be held entirely by party members only, on-site, like in the U.S.
Both newly-elected and re-elected lawmakers of the People Power Party also had a meeting and showed support for the revision of election rules. "Though some argued it is inappropriate to change the rules, a majority opinion was to count member votes only," Rep. Lee In-seon told reporters. Rep. Jeong Jeom-sik also said that most lawmakers agreed that party leadership must be constituted by members’ votes only.
However, the opposition to revising the rules is likely to persist. Rep. Yoon Sang-hyun, who is poised to run for party leadership, said in an interview with KBS Radio that the Democratic Party of Korea elected its party leader through both party member votes and opinion polls in a ratio of 7.5 to 2.5. As a ruling party, we must not fall behind in considering public opinion. Former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok also wrote on his Facebook that it is self-contradictory to drop the one who got the first place and instead try to send the fifth person to the top.