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Opposition leader's critics left out of primary race

Posted February. 21, 2024 07:39,   

Updated February. 21, 2024 07:39


Tensions mount within the main opposition Democratic Party as the landscape for official nominations in the upcoming April general elections clarifies. Reports indicate that many within the lower 20% bracket are aligned with either pro-Moon (former President Moon Jae-in) or anti-Lee (incumbent party leader Lee Jae-myung) factions. Lawmakers critical of Lee, who fall within the subgroup scoring below 20% in party evaluation, have united in collective action, decrying the perceived "assassination" of dissenting voices. Speculation looms regarding potential further defections, with dissenters purportedly considering leaving the party.

Among the critics, Rep. Park Yong-jin held a press conference on Tuesday, squarely condemning Lee for prioritizing his interests over those of the party. Rep. Park publicly disclosed that the party had notified him of his placement in the lower 10% bracket, which would result in a 30% deduction of primary votes. Despite this setback, Rep. Park pledged to endure the current challenges and remain in the party's primary race, expressing a steadfast determination to restore the party's credibility. He previously competed against Party leader Lee during the 2022 party convention for the presidential election. In February 2023, prior to the National Assembly vote on Lee's arrest motion, Park publicly urged Lee to waive his immunity and subject himself to a review of the validity and legality of the arrest warrant.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Rep. Yoon Young-chan, a former presidential aide under the Moon administration, disclosed his placement in the lower 10% bracket. The lawmaker emphasized that Lee's actions effectively amounted to a purge of his critics, given that most within the lower 20% cohort oppose Lee's leadership.

In response to mounting internal opposition, the party leader convened an emergency supreme committee meeting to address the escalating tensions. During the meeting, Lee defended the fairness of the primary nomination process. While addressing the press, Lee reportedly likened the internal strife to the discomfort associated with complete transformation, asserting that many of his allies also found themselves in the lower bracket.

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