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GNP to keep one-man, two-vote in leader election

The ruling Grand National Party decided in its senior officials’ meeting to maintain a one-man, two-vote system in electing its new chairman early next month.

The party’s standing national committee, held Tuesday at the Air Force Club, voted unilaterally not to adopt the one-man, one-vote system earlier suggested by the emergency policy committee last week. The committee holds the right to draw up the party constitution and to revise the party regulations.

“A majority of the respondents answered through our survey that the current voting system should be maintained,” said Lee Hae-bong, chairperson of the committee.

The issue of whether or not to include public poll results in the chairperson election, however, was left to a subordinate committee, which was held later in the afternoon, according to officials.

The emergency policy committee claimed that a two-vote system was no longer necessary as the electorate pool population had reached 210,000 and the chances of electoral bribery had fallen significantly.

Also, the large number of in-party voters would also guarantee objectivity in the election, chairperson Chung Ui-hwa said.

However, first-term and reform-minded lawmakers said that the suggested system would only advantage those candidates who stick to a specific faction.

Also, without public poll results, the election may come down to an internal power game among high-ranking lawmakers, they claimed.

“Public polls are a minimum measure to reflect the general voters’ views and sentiment,” said Rep. Kim Chung-kwon, leading member of the in-party reformative group.

“A leader otherwise elected may not truly reach out to the people.”

In the party’s general meeting, held earlier on Tuesday morning, lawmakers failed to reach a consensus, though a majority spoke in favor of the one-man, one-vote. Opinions were mostly divided between the so-called pro-Lee Myung-bak members and the pro-Park and other groups.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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