Progressive camp’s unification of candidates to reach agreement within the year ‘disabled’

▲ Correspondent Jeong Ki-hoon

By the end of December, the ‘Joint Presidential Election Response Organization for the Elimination of Inequalities’, in which the KCTU, the Justice Party, the Progressive Party, the Labor Party, the Green Party, the Social Transformation Workers’ Party, and the signature movement headquarters for the people’s contest promotion unions are participating, by the end of December, in fact, Failed.

On the morning of the 29th, the Joint Election Response Organization held a meeting at the Federation of Korean Trade Unions in Jung-gu, Seoul and discussed the method of unifying progressive candidates, but could not resolve their differences. Initially, discussions began on the premise that an agreement would be reached by the end of December, but a conclusion was not reached at the last meeting this year.

To sum up the terms of the units participating in the joint campaign response organization for the election, they discussed ways to unify candidates, such as direct voting by union members of the KCTU and a public opinion poll, and a method of running the two in parallel, but each unit failed to narrow down its existing position significantly. In addition, the Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) newly proposed a method of direct voting and public opinion polls in a ratio of 7 to 3 on the same day. This, too, was insufficient to reach an agreement.

The Justice Party, which presented a 100% opinion poll, took the position that it was difficult at the time to directly vote, which would require the formation of an electoral college. The Justice Party, which was the most active in the debate on unification of candidates, early proposed a direct vote and a 5 to 5 ratio in opinion polls. However, the decision on the presidential election policy by the Central Executive Committee of the Confederation of Trade Unions was delayed, and other progressive parties did not show an official response, but discussions resumed in early December.

An official from the Justice Party said, “The Justice Party seems to insist on only the polling method, but in the case of the competitive method, the time from the formation of the electoral college to the creation of the list and the general voting is too tight. I didn’t see it,” he said.

On the other hand, there were also opposing opinions that it is contradictory to not adopt the direct voting method targeting KCTU union members in the method of unifying candidates in which the KCTU participates.

On the one hand, there is an opinion that the consensus on the unification of candidates has failed, but it should be the outcome of the discussions that the progressive camps have been working on together. In the course of the meeting, it is reported that opinions on the ‘political consensus’ method, which is different from the unification method, were also raised.

The Joint Election Response Organization will hold another meeting on January 7 next year. Attention is drawn to the final conclusion, whether it is a complete failure, whether to rekindle the embers, or whether to conclude in a different way.

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