Thu, October 19, 2017 | 16:27
Posted : 2017-01-06 17:00
Updated : 2017-01-06 23:38

Park loyalists fight interim leader

By Kim Hyo-jin

In Myung-jin, the interim leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, attends a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul, Friday, after
he failed to name members of an ad hoc leadership committee. / Yonhap
Loyalists to President Park Geun-hye revolted against a reformist move by In Myung-jin, the interim leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, Friday.

In attempted to nominate members of the party's emergency planning committee as part of efforts to establish a leadership body.

However, the move was deterred by the party's national committee, controlled by Park loyalists.

Due to their collective boycott, a committee meeting that was scheduled to be held to approve a list of In's nominations, was cancelled.

Only 25 members turned up, failing to meet the quorum ― a majority of the 52 affiliated members.

"This shows the naked side of factional politics that have ruined the country," In told reporters.

In was seeking to form the party's interim leadership with anti-Park or neutral Saenuri Party members, a move interpreted as his asserting influence amid the deepening power struggle with Park loyalists.

If appointed, candidates were expected to support In's reformist push, according to party officials.

In, however, was sabotaged by Park loyalists, lawmakers who are not aligned with the President, argued.

"There are forces that are undermining the ongoing reformist move collectively and systematically," Park Maeng-woo, the party's secretary-general, said taking aim at key loyalists to Park ― Reps. Suh Chung-won, a de-facto leader of the pro-Park faction, and Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan, an ex-finance minister.

In, a former liberal activist and newly-appointed party chief, has called on key loyalists to the President to quit the party to normalize it after it was hit hard by the presidential corruption scandal and the following impeachment of Park.

Earlier, expectation was rife that In would be able to summon the Park loyalists-controlled national committee amid his upswing in the tug-of-war with pro-Park lawmakers.

Following his pressure on Park followers, Rep. Lee Jung-hyun, a former party chairman, and Rep. Jeong Kab-yoon, the head of the national committee, left the party.

Also, about 40 pro-Park lawmakers gave the new leader full discretion in deciding their fate. They include Reps. Hong Moon-jong, former Maritime Minister Yoo Ki-june and former Interior Minister Chong Jong-sup.

"If In quit the party after a fierce clash with the loyalists, the party could dissolve even more. It is right to follow In's guidance for now," a pro-Park lawmaker said.

However, most of the national committee members turned their back on In, in line with strong resistance from Reps. Suh and Choi.

The core loyalists, indicated to be the ones to be expelled by In, still remained adamant in refusing to leave the party.

Party officials said they remain stubborn, buoyed by unwavering support from voters in the Saenuri Party's home turf, North Gyeongsang Province and Daegu.

"There's enough time until Jan 8. I believe it will be sorted out," In told reporters, indicating that he can postpone the deadline of the requested exit for Park loyalists.

In earlier gave the loyalists an ultimatum that they should leave the party by Jan. 6 and he will announce the result of his reformist move and his own political path, Jan. 8.

관련 한글 기사

與 '인명진 비대위' 구성 무산…인적청산 제동

새누리당은 6일 국회에서 상임전국위원회 전체회의를 열어 인명진 비상대책위원장이 추천하는 비대위원을 추인하려 했으나 정족수 미달로 무산됐다.

인 위원장은 최고위를 대신할 당무기구로 비대위 구성을 완료해 서청원 최경환 의원을 포함한 친박(친박근혜)계 핵심에 대한 인적청산을 추진할 것으로 알려졌으나 결국 불발됐다.

비대위를 구성하고 나면 공석인 당 윤리위원장을 임명해 친박 의원들이 자진 탈당하지 않더라도 '탈당 권유'와 '당원권 정지'와 같은 징계가 가능하다. 

당 지도부는 개의 예정 시간인 오후 2시부터 1시간40분을 기다렸지만, 끝내 회의 성립을 위한 정족수를 채우지 못했다. 정족수는 상임전국위 재적위원 52명의 과반인 27명이다.

당 지도부는 상임전국위 개최 무산에 친박 핵심 인사들의 조직적 움직임이 있었다고 보고 있다.

인 위원장은 상임전국위 무산 직후 회의에서 '이 사태는 나라를 망친 패거리 정치의 민낯을 국민 여러분에게 낱낱이 보여주는 것'이라면서 '당을 잘 추슬러서 국민께 크게 봉사할 수 있도록 개혁에 앞장서겠다'고 말했다.

박맹우 사무총장은 기자들과 만나 '확인한 참석 예정자만 36명 정도 됐다'면서 '여기에 다 왔는데 반대작업 때문에 들어오지 못하는 사람들이 있다. 조직적이고 체계적으로 방해하는 세력들이 막고 있다'고 주장했다.

당 지도부는 이르면 다음 주 상임전국위원을 일부 재조정해 의결 정족수를 낮춘 뒤 다시 개최할 방침인 것으로 전해졌다.

정우택 원내대표는 기자들과 만나 '다음 주 중에 다시 상임전국위를 열겠다'면서 '상임전국위에 정족수 변화가 있을 수 있기 때문에 회의를 여는 것은 큰 문제가 아니다'라고 설명했다.

그러나 인 위원장이 당장 사퇴 의사를 나타내지는 않았지만 친박계의 탈당 추이를 살펴본 후 미진할 경우 자진해서 당을 떠날 가능성도 배제할 수 없어 비대위 구성이 끝내 무산될 수도 있다.

인 위원장은 취임 직후 친박계의 자진 탈당 시한을 6일로 제시했으며, 그 결과를 보고 8일 기자간담회를 열겠다고 밝혀 거취 표명을 시사했다.

이와 함께 인 위원장을 영입한 정우택 원내대표 역시 인 위원장이 사퇴할 경우 정치적 책임에서 자유로울 수 없을 것으로 보인다. (연합뉴스)