Ruling party checks itself in run-up to convention

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Ruling party checks itself in run-up to convention

A group of first and second-term lawmakers from the ruling Saenuri Party met yesterday with less than a month before its party convention and leadership election to urge fellow members to refrain from forging political alliances and slandering those with differing views.

Led by two-term lawmaker Cho Hae-jin, the group, made up of 21 members, held its first meeting yesterday at the National Assembly to reach an agreement on four key points in the run-up to the conference on July 14, which is expected to reflect how determined the Saenuri is in following through with a political revamp.

The four items outlined include avoiding and refraining from exhaustive criticism of other members, forming hierarchies and partaking in meals with the intent to establish a party alliance. They also agreed to refuse intervention from Blue House officials and local governors in the party leadership election, which will determine the new Saenuri chairman and four other executive positions.

The formation of the panel is in response to public uproar over mudslinging between two of the Saenuri’s strongest candidates in the race for the party’s chairmanship.

Amid an ever-intensifying competition, Representative Kim Moo-sung claimed on Sunday that Suh Chung-won fabricated the results of a public poll sent to media outlets to make it appear as if Suh was outpacing him.

The two are also suspected of indiscriminately mobilizing younger voters to boast that they held more popularity among youths - part of the Saenuri’s aim to dilute the idea that it is primarily supported by the older generation.

In the election for party leadership, 30 percent of the scores for each candidate comes from a public opinion survey and 70 percent is decided upon by votes. Approximately 190,000 party members, as well as 10,000 voters under age 40, will cast their ballots.

As many as 10 candidates are expected to run in the race, including Representative Suh Chung-won and presidential hopefuls Kim Moo-sung and Rhee In-je.

“The party is supposed to proceed with the convention based on the idea that the new leader is supposed to be able to accurately assess the problems and situations within the party and administration and carry out what is needed,” Representative Cho said.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]




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