The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Friday celebrated its 60th anniversary amid an intensifying power struggle between two factions that has undermined the unity of the party and the leadership of its chairman Rep. Moon Jae-in.
Mindful of the ongoing in-house scuffle over his leadership, Moon highlighted the party’s legacy and urged the NPAD members to unite.
“Looking back at the 60 years we have walked past, I can’t help realize that we have to work harder for bringing hope to the people. I sincerely hope that today will be the moment when (NPAD members) will commit themselves to the unity,” said Moon.
NPAD traces its origin to the coalition of opposition parties in 1955 against former President Syngman Rhee’s attempt to seek a term.
NPAD leader Rep. Moon Jae-in. Yonhap
Facing mounting pressure from key party members, Moon also hinted at canceling his plan of holding a vote of confidence in his leadership.
Rep. Park Byeong-seung told reporters that Moon is thinking about withdrawing the vote.
In the meeting, Park and other NPAD heavyweights urged Moon to cancel the vote to channel his efforts toward the party’s unity. The vote of confidence is scheduled to take place before Chuseok holiday that falls from Sept. 26 to 29.
“Now that the party members have endorsed the party’s reform plan, our priority is to bring the party together. We sincerely ask Moon to withdraw his decision to hold a confidence vote and work for the party’s unity. Party’s heavyweights will join the effort,” said Park.
Moon had vowed to push through a confidence vote regardless of whether the party members endorse the reform plan that he had spearheaded since the NPAD’s crushing defeats in the 2015 April by-elections. Moon had said he would resign if the party members rejected the plan.
The NPAD reform committee chairman Kim Sang-kon and floor leader Rep. Lee Jong-kul also urged Moon to withdraw the vote, saying the passage of the reform plan is equivalent to a tacit endorsement of his leadership.
By Yeo Jun-suk (email@example.com