Moon’s critics test waters as NPAD leader urges reforms

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Moon’s critics test waters as NPAD leader urges reforms

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) has begun a preparation for a vote of confidence demanded by its leader Moon Jae-in, though it still faces hurdles with the chairman’s critics calling for a party convention to ultimately decide his fate.

While Moon has staked his chairmanship on reforming the way the party picks its candidates for next year’s general election, those outside his circle of loyalists, including Rep. Park Jie-won, have demanded that a party convention be held to decide whether Moon, elected in February, should maintain authority.

Rep. Park, who was defeated by Moon in the race for party chairman, wrote on his Facebook page Thursday that Moon should not stake his position on the passage of reform plans by the party’s central committee, but should have his fate decided through a party convention, a demand echoed by other NPAD lawmakers who oppose the nomination proposals.

But it appears less likely that their demand will be met, with Moon’s loyalists more than likely to object to the convention.

The demand for a party convention by the chairman’s critics is thought to be a calculated move, given that they see the central committee as more likely to approve the nomination proposals, particularly with the majority of its members holding a favorable bent toward Moon.

The political significance attached to the vote has also increased the likelihood that the reform proposals will be approved.

Moon declared on Wednesday that he would step down if the party’s central committee votes down a set of nomination proposals that would dramatically change the party nomination system. The central committee, which has 576 members, will convene Wednesday to vote on the measure.

Moon also called for a vote of confidence in his leadership, without details on how and when such a vote would take place. In order to pass the measures, at least half of the 576 members must attend the vote. They also need a majority of attending members to approve them for passage.

Under the nomination overhaul proposals drawn up by the reform committee, the NPAD would introduce a public panel of 300 to 1,000 people for each constituency to select an NPAD candidate. It would create the panels in advance, taking applications from the public. The reform committee also suggested giving extra points to political rookies, women and the disabled.

The reforms are widely seen as being meant to favor aspiring politicians, at the same time putting party veterans at a disadvantage. Most of the main opposition’s seasoned veterans have not been shy about slamming Moon’s leadership.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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