The DP must wake up

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The DP must wake up

The Democratic Party (DP) is embroiled in a ferocious battle over how to elect its new leadership in the national convention slated for August 28. The internal fight continues with each faction trying to fix election rules in its favor. In the beginning, a preparatory committee for the national convention proposed to elect a new head of the party by reflecting the votes of central committee members by 70 percent and the results of a public opinion poll by 30 percent.

But after the emergency committee opposed it, the preparatory committee scrapped the idea of counting the results of an opinion poll to elect new leaders of the party. On Thursday, however, the convention preparation committee went back to reflecting the public opinion by 30 percent.

How to elect the leadership of a political party is up to the party itself. But given overheated internal battles, the DP certainly went too far. After the emergency committee did not accept the decision by the preparatory committee, the chairman of the preparation committee said he would resign from the post. Dissatisfied with the emergency committee’s return to reflecting public opinion by 30 percent, lawmakers close to Rep. Lee Jae-myung, former presidential candidate of the DP, demanded a new chairperson of the party be elected by DP members only. (Despite his relative popularity in the DP, Lee is not popular with the public).

For the March 9 presidential election, the DP brought in Park Ji-hyun, 26, a former activist, as an interim leader of the embattled party from outside to help win votes from the young, but it did not allow her to run for chairperson of the party this time. The DP based its decision on the requirements that any candidate for party chief must come from members who paid membership fees for minimum six months. Park is angry because she received over 80 percent support when she assumed the post as head of the emergency committee. She was recruited by Rep. Lee, but now his party forbids her from running for chairperson.

The way the DP behaves is far from reform and innovation. After an election defeat, it must find the reasons for the loss and try to gain public trust again. But DP lawmakers are engrossed with winning a primary to pick its new leadership to help them get nominations for the parliamentary elections in 2024 and the next presidential election three year later. There is no political difference among factions, either.

Due to his suspicious nominations and appointments of top officials, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating is declining. But people do not like the DP either, as it did not change at all after two election defeats, including the June 1 local elections.
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