Progressive camp’s unification of presidential candidates ‘failed’

▲ Reporter Jeong Ki-hoon

Discussions on the unification of the progressive presidential candidates broke down.

The ‘Joint Presidential Election Response Organization for Overcoming Inequalities’, in which the KCTU, Justice Party, Progressive Party, Labor Party, Green Party, Social Transformation Workers’ Party, and the People’s Competition Promotion Union’s Signature Movement Headquarters participate, held a meeting at the KCTU in Jung-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 9th and unified the candidates. Methods were discussed, but disagreements could not be resolved. The Joint Response Organization did not schedule a meeting for further discussion. An official from the KCTU said, “The discussion on unification at the level of the joint presidential election response body was ultimately canceled.”

The joint response organization planned to decide on the unification method by the end of last month. However, at the meeting of the working managers on the 29th of last month, no conclusion could be drawn. On the 7th, the joint response body was Yang Kyung-soo, chairman of the KCTU, Yeo Young-guk (Justice Party), Kim Jae-yeon (Progressive Party), Kim Chan-hwi (Green Party), Na Do-won (Labour Party), Lee Jong-hoe (Reform Party), and Han Sang-gyun, executive co-head of the Signature Movement Headquarters, participated. held a meeting of representatives. At the representative meeting, they agreed on the method of combining direct voting by union members and public opinion polls, but confirmed differences in positions among participating units regarding specific weights. Even at the meeting that day, the difference of opinion between the Justice Party and the other four parties on the proportion of direct voting could not be narrowed.

The KCTU and five progressive political parties launched a joint response organization in September last year, saying, “We will present and implement a progressive agenda to fundamentally transform Korean society and prepare an alternative system.” On the 9th of last month, Han Sang-gyun, former chairman of the KCTU, announced his participation in the popular contest, and the signature movement headquarters of the members promoting the popular contest also joined the joint response organization. At a press conference on the 14th of the same month, Chairman Yang Kyung-soo said, “The deadline has been set to agree on a unified primary election method within this year.” However, as the joint response body failed to reach an agreement on the primary election method, the unification of the presidential candidates from the progressive camps also practically failed.

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