Defeated DUP bickering over emergency leader

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Defeated DUP bickering over emergency leader

The Democratic United Party will select an emergency leader early next month to help the party recover from its defeat in last month’s presidential election.

“Representative Park Ki-choon, the new floor leader, decided to hold a joint meeting between lawmakers and senior party officials on Jan. 10 to select the new emergency leadership,” said Representative Jung Sung-ho, spokesman of the DUP. “Starting next month, he will meet with party advisers, former chairmen and floor leaders, heads of the city and provincial chapters, and lawmakers to listen to their opinions.”

The largest opposition party elected last week Representative Park as its new floor leader, but Park has said he will focus on the party’s affairs inside the National Assembly. The DUP, therefore, will have to select a new emergency leader to create a road map for its future.

Park originally intended to select a new emergency head by yesterday, but factions inside the party failed to agree on a method.

Worrying that a primary would bring about unnecessary friction between the main factions inside the DUP, Park wanted to find a suitable person to lead as an interim leader and appoint him the emergency head based on a consensus in the party. Then he backtracked and said a primary could take place if necessary.

“If we cannot agree on who should be the interim leader, we can hold an election,” he said in an interview with MBC radio yesterday morning. “Some said a person from outside the party should be appointed to work objectively, so we need to find a consensus.”

The DUP currently has several factions. Loyalists of former President Roh Moo-hyun are one group, while senior reformists form another faction. A group of first- and second-term lawmakers have created their own group.

Some said the interim head should be in charge of a complete overhaul of the party. Others said it should just manage party affairs until a convention selects a new leadership.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr ]
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