New Politics Alliance for Democracy cochairman Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo called for transparent candidate nominations on Friday in an apparent attempt to salvage the new party’s “new politics” agenda.
“I believe that success and failure in the elections is dependent on whether (the party) succeeds in reforming nominations,” Ahn said at the party’s election committee meeting.
Stating that NPAD candidates must be those the public approves of, Ahn said that political interests must not influence the nomination process.
“There are many things a party needs to do to win elections but the most important thing is selecting candidates the people consider to be clean, capable and prepared to work for local residents.”
The election committee is cochaired by five NPAD members in addition to Ahn and party cochairman Rep. Kim Han-gil.
Along with the party chairmen, Reps. Chung Sye-kyun, Moon Jae-in, former North Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Du-kwan and senior advisers Sohn Hak-kyu and Chung Dong-young lead the committee.
Kim Han-gil echoed Ahn, saying that the main task before the committee is to set aside the powers held by the party to “reform and innovate” the nomination process.
On Thursday, however, the NPAD announced it would nominate candidates for the June 4 local elections with party vote and opinion polls overturning party leaders’ decision to forgo nominations.
While the move prompted heavy fire from the ruling Saenuri Party, which accused the NPAD of discarding “new politics,” observers say that the main opposition will now be able to engage in the elections systematically.
The benefits nominating candidates will have for the NPAD, however, remain to be seen, with some experts saying the party stands to gain little if anything from it. According to various poll results, the ruling party currently leads the NPAD by more than 10 percentage points in terms of support ratings.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)