PPP announces the final five in race to chairmanship
The main opposition party on Friday announced five politicians, including the popular young Lee Jun-seok, who made the cut to compete in its chairmanship election scheduled for next month.
The People Power Party (PPP) said eight candidates ran in the preliminary round of the chairmanship election, and five have made the cut. The selection was made through the combination of a public opinion poll and a survey of party members.
The PPP announced that Lee, Na Kyung-won, Joo Ho-young, Cho Kyoung-tae and Hong Moon-pyo made the cut. The PPP held the preliminary polls on Wednesday and Thursday. Party members’ votes made up 50 percent of the decision, and the opinion poll of the general public made up the other half.
The party will hold a national convention on June 11 to elect the new chairman and other members of the Supreme Council.
For the chairmanship election, the party will conduct two sets of opinion polls on June 9 and 10. This time, the survey of the party members will count for 70 percent and the general public for 30 percent.
Although the PPP kept the outcomes of the preliminary cutoff polls secret in order to prevent them from influencing the main chairmanship race, sources said Lee made the cut with the highest score.
The 36-year-old politician has enjoyed high popularity although he currently holds no official leadership title in the PPP. The Harvard graduate started his political career in 2011 by joining the Saenuri Party, a predecessor of the PPP, when he was a young entrepreneur.
When the party recruited him as a member of an interim emergency leadership at the age of 26, based on his relationship with the party leader at the time, Park Geun-hye, Lee was 26-years-old. He has no experience of winning any election, including a lawmaker seat.
Lee, however, kept his distance from Park and her allies after she was caught in her presidential scandal. He had also demanded that Park resign or be impeached for the scandal and left the party. He returned to the largest opposition party before the April 2020 general elections.
Lee’s strongest rivals are two political heavyweights, Na and Joo, who are backed by the PPP’s traditional and often elderly supporters. Na is a former four-term lawmaker who once served as the floor leader of the main opposition party, and Joo is a five-term lawmaker who had also served as the floor leader.
BY SER MYO-JA [firstname.lastname@example.org]