Na Kyung-won at biggest crisis of her political career

Jan 26, 2023, 08:30 am

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Former People Power Party (PPP) lawmaker Na Kyung-won bites her lips at a press conference at the party’s headquarters on Yeouido, Seoul, Wednesday. Na said she would not run for the ruling party’s chairman election slated for March 8./ Source: Yonhap

AsiaToday reporter Kim Na-ri 

Former People Power Party (PPP) lawmaker Na Kyung-won, who officially declared that she would not run for the ruling party’s chairman election, is facing at perhaps the biggest crisis of her political career. This is because she has lost support from President Yoon Suk-yeol’s faction within the party following weeks of friction with Yoon’s office.

“If I can prevent public concern on the division and confusion in the party and contribute to the cohesion and unity, I will bravely lay it down,” Na said during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. “I will not take part in the race for the People Power Party leadership at the upcoming national convention,” she said. 

“Any bid by me to run for the party leadership is now being framed as a symbol of division and this can be interpreted negatively by the public,” Na said, comparing herself with a mother who gave up her child to the other woman after King Solomon ruled the baby be cut in two so that the two women could have each half. 

Na has been considered a leading candidate for the party’s leadership position. However, her approval ratings have plunged after weeks of discord with the presidential office and pro-Yoon lawmakers standing as the PPP’s mainstream, allowing PPP Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon to claim the leading position in recent surveys that asked who the most suitable new PPP leader is. 

Na reportedly mulled over whether to run until Tuesday, but decided not to run after political judgements such as falling approval ratings. 

“If my backing off can bring the light to the future of all of us, I think that will also be a step forward. I believe in history and the people,” she said. 

“It was really tough to achieve regime change. We should never waste this precious opportunity to regain people’s support, restore the rule of law, and straighten the constitutional order. I will wish for the genuine success of the People Power Party and the Yoon Suk-yeol government,” she said. 

Following Na’s withdrawal, the PPP leadership race will likely be a two-horse race between Reps. Kim Gi-hyeon and Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo. Though Na ruled out the possibility of supporting either candidate, saying there is “no room” for her to play a role in the runup to the national convention, competition to attract Na supporters is expected to intensify.

#Na Kyung-won #withdrawal #PPP #leadership #election 
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