Lefitst party scheduled to select new leaders
By Kim Se-jeong
The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) plans to form a new leadership body later this month in a bid to put an end to political infighting.
In a meeting held at the National Assembly, Saturday, the party set June 25 to 29 for in-house elections and July 8 for the inauguration of its new leadership.
Posts for the president, supreme council members, senior party members, members of the central committee, chief and vice-chief members representing major cities and provinces will be up for grabs. Candidacy registration will take place on June 17 and 18, with campaigns running from June 19 to 24.
The party members also agreed to revise part of party election terms, allowing a candidate with the most votes to claim victory.
The current practice only allows a candidate with an absolute majority to declare his or her victory, which is believed to be the root cause of a rigged primary that has been rattling the party.
The UPP won seven constituencies and six proportional representation seats in the general elections on April 11, but was soon thrown into chaos over a rigged primary. An internal investigation concluded the chosen voting process, online voting and polling stations was manipulated, spurring a division in the party.
A reformist demanding the resignation of the 14 involved — including four who made it into the National Assembly — has been waging a robust drive to remove their party membership. Kang Ki-kab, the interim leader, is in the forefront, threatening the defiant four members to resign voluntarily.
The opposing mainstream faction is responding with violence.
“We can no longer remain silent. Time is running out, and those responsible for this deplorable incident should sincerely apologize in front of party members,”Kang was quoted as saying last weekend.
The UPP is expected to have a central committee meeting Friday.