The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) is undergoing a change of leadership following the Constitutional Court ruling on Dec. 19, 2014 to disband the radical splinter opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) and to deprive all five lawmakers of the UPP on charges of involvement in pro-North Korean activities.
Now it is going to be a showdown between Rep. Park Ji-won who follows the ideals of the late former President Kim Dae-jung (champion for the improvement of relations with North Korea in a so-called ‘Sunshine Engagement Policy”).
According to an opinion survey conducted by JowonCNI on the deputies of the NPAD on Dec. 20-22, 2014, Park won the highest points with 31.1% followed by Rep. Moon Jae-in (24.4%) and Chung Se-kyun (17.3%). Some 27.2% of the pollees said that they had no answer. As Chung SK has already announced that he would not compete in the race for the leadership of the NPAD, the contest is now between Park and Moon.
Another leader of the NPAD, Rep. Chung Dong-young has indicated that he would leave the party and form a new opposition party with progressives and progressive-minded opposition politicians.
In another survey conducted on the NPAD members with a right to vote, the front runner reversed, and the top winner was Moon with 32.6% followed by Park (28.3%) and Chung SK (14.7%). Some 24.4% said that they had no answer.
It is very difficult how this will be received by the general public because even when the NPAD was ‘in one piece’ the support rating on many opinion polls was not very high, and accounted less than one half of the support rating of the ruling Saenuri Party.
The national convention of NPAD is slated on Feb. 8, 2015.
Reports indicate that Moon will officially announce his challenge for the leadership today (Dec. 29, 2014).