The PPP’s clown car act

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The PPP’s clown car act

There is no end in sight to the evolving chaos in the governing People Power Party (PPP). Despite last week’s court ruling which found fault with the establishment of an emergency committee in the party after former PPP chair Lee Jun-seok was suspended for six months over apparent sexual misconduct, Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, floor leader of the party, assumed the post as acting head of the committee on Monday. Even after the court’s ruling invalidating the establishment of the interim committee, Kweon took the helm of the embattled party again. If a new emergency committee is established, he is supposed to appoint a new head of the committee. We are dumbfounded at the farcical developments in the PPP.

To make matters worse, the future of a new emergency committee has become uncertain after Lee — the provocative former PPP chair — filed an injunction once again with the same court Monday to suspend the operation of the new emergency committee. He claims that if the committee is unauthorized, the acting head and members of the unauthorized committee have no justification to operate the party. The establishment of a new emergency committee requires approval from the national committee, but Rep. Suh Byung-soo, chairman of the committee, refused it.

Enough is enough. At the center of the division within the PPP over the last three months is its floor leader Kweon. Despite overwhelming demands for his resignation from the post in a meeting of PPP lawmakers earlier, he did not comply. “I will make the decision myself after setting up a new emergency committee,” he said. We wonder why. A number of PPP lawmakers, including Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, want Kweon to step down immediately. South Chungcheong Governor Kim Tae-heum also attacked Kweon for attempting to take a failed path once again.

The floor leader who took over the PPP after Lee’s suspension made mistakes repeatedly, including his exposure, willingly or not, of a sensitive text messages from President Yoon Suk-yeol on his smartphone, caught by cameras of the press. The PPP must go to basics. It must stop establishing an emergency leadership committee, which goes against a court ruling. Kweon must resign as floor leader and form a new leadership for the party.

In a doorstep interview Monday, President Yoon Suk-yeol expressed a willingness to respect a conclusion reached by members of the PPP. His remarks suggest a tacit endorsement of Kweon’s push to set up another nonsensical emergency committee. If the president gives the impression that he supports Kweon and other lawmakers close to him, PPP supporters will turn their backs on them.
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