UPP falls to pieces over vote-rigging controversyThe Unified Progressive Party nearly dissolved after a vote-rigging scandal rocked it to its core.
Right after the April 11 general election, which saw the party earn 13 legislative seats, party members accused the leading faction, the Gyeonggi Dongbu Alliance, of plotting to rig its nationwide primary in March to help its members win proportional candidacies.
Most of the proportional lawmakers who benefited from the rigged primary fell on their swords.
However, Lee Seok-gi and Kim Jae-yeon, core members of the leading faction, are still in office, maintaining the primary was legitimate and the allegations were merely political attacks.
The leading faction is mainly composed of former pro-Pyongyang student activists from the 1970s and 80s. The public cried out over its pro-North stance, which, among other things would have the South stay quiet over the North’s nuclear weapons program.
By the end of the year, nearly 19,000 members had abandoned the sinking ship. Prosecutors indicted 462 people. And a few defectors formed their own group, calling it the Progressive Justice Party.