“Unilateral notification to the leadership the evening before the appointment of Lee Jae-myung and Lee Hae-kyung”
It has been revealed that the Democratic Party of Korea’s leader Lee Jae-myung only informed the party’s leader Park Kwang-on and top committee members on the evening of the 4th, a day before the announcement of Lee’s appointment as the party’s innovation chairman. Upon his appointment on the morning of the 5th, Lee voluntarily resigned within nine hours due to controversial comments he had made in the past, including the “self-destruction of the Cheonan. There were complaints within the party leadership and the top ranks that “Lee is running the party in a dark room with all the power.”
According to multiple sources in the Democratic Party leadership, Lee held a closed-door meeting at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 4, and personally recommended Lee for the position, saying, “There were recommendations from civil society elders including Father Ham Se-woong.” Father Ham is a prominent opposition figure who worked with Lee in 2019 to promote the “National Committee to Protect the Victims”. A key Democratic Party official said, “Mr. Lee met with Mr. Lee in person about two times after receiving his recommendation.”
Within the party leadership, which was unilaterally informed of Lee’s appointment, there is growing dissatisfaction that Lee is showing assertive leadership. “If he wanted to nominate three candidates and give them a choice, or if he wanted to nominate a single candidate himself, he should have thoroughly verified them in advance,” said a member of the leadership, adding, “The party’s personnel verification system is not working at all.” An official from the party’s leadership department also said, “There was no practical verification for the important position of innovation chairman. They did not sufficiently filter out (controversy) from the discussion process.”
There were also calls within the party for Lee to resign before the innovation committee was launched. On CBS Radio, five-term lawmaker Lee Sang-min said, “This is an inherent flaw in Lee Jae-myung’s system, as there was no public discussion and no verification,” adding, “Lee should resign as soon as possible and find someone else to head the innovation committee while the parliamentary leader acts as the party leader.”
“Who is Lee Iae-kyung?”… Leadership reacts to Lee Jae-myung’s ‘secret appointment’
Convening the highest level without prior personnel information
Lee Hae-kyung’s ‘Cheonan self-destruction’ remarks were not taken care of
Within the party, “Lee Jae-myung alone turns the talent pool”
Lee Sang-min “Representative resignation and innovation committee should be organized”
“Representative Lee Jae-myung decided to appoint the innovation chairman by himself. Why is he running the talent pool alone?” (Democratic Party leadership official)
“When the controversy over the ‘Cheonan self-destruction’ remark surfaced, Lee publicly cut his tail saying, ‘I didn’t know.’ He is playing with the party.” (Democratic Party leadership official)
Lee’s appointment as the party’s innovation chairman has been controversial, with the honorary chairman of the Other Hundred Years Foundation resigning nine hours after his appointment. Leadership officials who were ‘passed over’ in the process of appointing the innovation chairman complained in unison that it was a “ridiculous decision” and that “we were beaten”. The screaming (non-Lee Jae-myung) camp is demanding that “Lee should resign before the Innovation Commission is launched.” Neutral lawmakers are also raising their voices, saying, “If Representative Lee continues to fumble like that, the leadership will become more and more shaky.”
“Who the hell is Lee Iae-kyung?” the party leadership is also asking
According to multiple attendees, Lee convened a top-level meeting at 6 p.m. on April 4, attended by top party officials, including top committee members, and Majority Leader Park Kwang-on. After Choi Joong-sik, the secretary general in charge of party appointments, spoke about the appointment of the innovation chairman, Lee’s profile was handed out, listing his key positions as a promoter of the Mincheong Hakryeon, a board member of the Korean Peninsula Foundation, and a steering committee member.
“There were recommendations from civil society elders, including Father Ham Se-woong,” Lee said, revealing the reason for his recommendation. Father Ham, an opposition leader, promoted the “National Task Force to Protect Lee Jae-myung” with Lee in 2019. He declared his support for Lee during the last presidential election. In January of this year, he spoke on the radio about Lee’s “judicial risk,” claiming that it was a “so-called targeted investigation (by the Yoon administration). When asked by Dong-A Ilbo about the circumstances of Lee’s nomination, Father Ham said, “I have no comment.”
One attendee reportedly disagreed with Lee, saying, “I don’t think he will get a good score because he is old (69 years old) and comes from a sports background.” However, a member of the leadership team, a close confidant of Lee’s, convinced him that “Lee has experience running a company and when he retired, he gave back to society with the money he received from the sale of his shares.”
The party leadership and the parliamentary leadership are also unhappy with Lee’s “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” recommendation and unilateral notification, as the controversial resignation happened within nine hours. A member of the leadership who attended the meeting said, “They didn’t have any information about Lee beforehand,” adding, “They accepted him because he had experience in the pro-democracy movement and corporate management, and had worked with the late chairman of the Bareunuri Party, Kim Geun-tae.”
Conspiracy theories such as the메이저놀이터 “Cheonan self-destruction,” which can be verified with a simple internet search, were completely excluded from the unilateral notification process. “It’s our fault that we didn’t filter out such controversies in advance,” said a top committee member, adding, “We should have given him proper information about the person, but since that wasn’t done at all, we couldn’t accurately identify the risks.” Park also reportedly asked the leadership after the meeting, “Who is Lee Ik-kyung?” and asked about the reputation of Lee, who is of Kim Geun-tae descent.
There were also criticisms of backroom deals. “If I had known in advance, I would never have agreed to the appointment,” one pro-Myung lawmaker said. In response, spokesperson Park Sung-joon told SBS Radio, “The appointment of the innovation commissioner was a matter that had to be carried out in secrecy.”
“No more Lee Jae-myung ahead of the general election”
As the first steps to fix the party’s problems, such as the ‘National Convention Money Envelope Suspicion’ and the ‘Kim Nam-guk Coin Scandal’, have been bogged down, there are growing voices within the party that ‘Lee Jae-myung’s leadership is not enough’. Lee should step down before next year’s general election.
A neutral lawmaker with a district in Seoul pointed out, “Lee’s idea of innovation is ‘let’s unite and not talk about Lee Jae-myung,'” and said, “The next innovation committee should decide how much authority the party leader will relinquish.” A lawmaker from the Bimyeonggye metropolitan area said, “At the recent parliamentary session