Confederation of Trade Unions decides candidates to support by voting on presidential candidate preference

▲ Correspondent Jeong Ki-hoon

The Korean Federation of Trade Unions decides the candidates for the 20th presidential election through a delegate election asking the preference of the presidential candidates from the four parties in the house.

On the afternoon of the 27th, the Confederation of Trade Unions held a central political committee meeting in the conference room of the Confederation of Trade Unions in Yeouido, Seoul to discuss the presidential election policy, which is the agenda for the temporary delegates meeting. The Central Political Committee is a permanent body composed of the chairperson, secretary-general, and vice-chairperson, representatives of member unions (chairman of industry federations), and chairperson of regional headquarters.

A few days before the meeting, there was a heated debate within the Confederation of Trade Unions over the election policy. Opinions were divided on whether to ask for or against only Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung, whether to vote for major party candidates, or not to express support at all.

In the end, the Central Political Committee held a meeting without a single bill from the executive branch. This means that even the executive branch could not effectively reconcile differences. At the meeting, a number of arguments were made to ask about the pros and cons of candidate Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party, which had signed a policy of partnership during the 19th presidential election. In a situation where we do not know which presidential candidate will be elected, the compromise of ‘voting for four-party candidates in the House of Representatives’ was strengthened as we clashed with the argument that we should not decide which candidates to support.

Delegate voting asks for preference. It’s like asking, ‘Which candidate do you prefer as a candidate for the Korea Federation of Trade Unions?’ The temporary delegates meeting will be held online from 9 am on February 7th to 1 pm the next day. On the afternoon of the 8th, Kim Dong-myeong, chairman of the Korean Federation of Trade Unions, held a press conference to announce the candidates for the support of the Korean Federation of Trade Unions decided on that day. If the Confederation of Trade Unions decides on a candidate to support the presidential election, it will be the third presidential election in the history of which Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Moon Jae-in were elected.

At a meeting of the Central Political Committee, Chairman Kim said, “After determining the candidate for support, the Korean Federation of Trade Unions’ presidential policy requests will lead to the conclusion of a policy partnership agreement with the candidate, and will be reflected in the new government’s policies after being elected. Let’s prove once again that the candidate supported by the Federation of Korean Trade Unions will eventually become president.”

Meanwhile, the Korean Federation of Trade Unions (KCTU) released the results of the four-party candidates’ answers to policy questionnaires on the same day. The policy evaluation panel, including external members, analyzed the responses they received to questions about whether to accept the presidential election bill of the Confederation of Trade Unions, an action plan, and whether to conclude a policy agreement with the Confederation of Trade Unions in the future. As a result of the evaluation, Justice Party candidate Shim Sang-jung showed the highest fit, followed by Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung. People’s Power candidate Yoon Seok-yeol received low scores in most of the policy demands, and People’s Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo did not submit an answer at all.

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