Main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Monday picked floor leader and acting chair Rep. Park Young-sun as the chief of its emergency committee until the new leadership is selected early next year.
The three-term lawmaker has served as the NPAD’s acting chair since last week when cochairmen Reps. Ahn Cheol-soo and Kim Han-gil resigned. She was already serving as the NPAD floor leader, usually considered the party’s No. 2 position.
The committee will function as the NPAD’s executive branch until NPAD officials hold a party convention next year, sometime before March. At the 2015 convention, officials will pick the party’s new chairman, secretary-general and other senior executives.
“The emergency committee will ensure that the party convention is held early next year as planned,” NPAD spokesperson Rep. Park Beom-kye said.
“The emergency committee will carry out a set of reforms until then.”
NPAD officials said specific reform plans would be announced on a later date.
The opposition has been in a state of turmoil since its defeats in the July 30 by-elections.
The ruling Saenuri Party won in 11 of the 15 contested constituencies to strengthen its parliamentary majority. The Saenuri Party even beat the NPAD at a voting district in the southwestern Jeolla region, traditionally a liberal stronghold.
Since then, NPAD officials have called for major in-house reforms.
As the party’s acting chief executive, Park has been chairing meetings among lawmakers, regional government executives and senior politicians to gather opinions on how the party should change.
NPAD officials present at such meetings have insisted on Park’s leadership. Park accepted the offers and vowed to answer voices demanding reforms.
“Our party is in the darkest of hours. We will need the strength of each and every one of our party’s lawmakers,” Park said.
With the Saenuri Party expected to mount a parliamentary offensive by pushing through controversial bills, NPAD officials will be compelled to move quickly and decisively, according to local media reports.
Park, widely considered a hard-liner, is expected to lead a staunch defense against the governing party.
By Jeong Hunny (firstname.lastname@example.org)