An in-house fight out of controlThe house of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) is falling apart, just 18 days after order was restored with difficulty. It is hard to believe the party is contesting the ruling party for the presidential election in 70 days.
Lee Jun-seok, the thirty-something head of the PPP, again exposed the in-house trouble. During a campaign meeting, Cho Su-jin — a supreme council member responsible for public relations on the campaign team — criticized the PPP’s response to allegations against PPP presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s wife, claiming to be speaking for Yoon. Lee called on her to correct herself for attacking him and Kim Chong-in, head of the campaign committee. When Cho refused to take back her argument, Lee pointed out that he was the senior chair of the campaign team. But Cho said she would only be listening to the orders of Yoon.
The situation appeared to have settled down after she was forced to make an apology. But she shared a link of a YouTube video ridiculing Lee with several reporters. She has said she did not wish for any title, but when she was given the role of the head of public relations, she acted as if she had been given an overwhelming power.
Lee did not take her cowardly actions well. He called on her to take a responsible action by retiring from the public relations office. Later in the day, Lee announced he was withdrawing himself from all posts on the campaign team. He did not give time for Cho to apologize. He has stoked a fight with party members too many times — every time when he felt a lack of respect. Politicians within and outside find him lacking a sense of responsibility and placing his own interest above the party’s.
The public will certainly find that the PPP has changed little from its arrogant old ways by watching members fighting over the hierarchy. Yoon must take responsibility for keeping the house safe. The conflict stems from an oversized presidential campaign committee. Discussions, including a decision on the itinerary of the candidate, cannot progress due to wrangling among party members.
Yoon has not stepped in to mediate between Lee and Cho. He brushed it off, saying that debating is natural in democracy and leaving the differences to be ironed out between the two. Yoon must come up with a fundamental solution to stop the internal division and set the house in order. The public are running out of patience.