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(LEAD) Ex-PM Lee Nak-yon to appeal ruling party's primary results

All News 22:01 October 10, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS comments at bottom)

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- Former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon will appeal results of the ruling Democratic Party's primary, his camp said Sunday, hours after he came up short against Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung.

Lee Jae-myung garnered 50.29 percent of votes cast during the 11-round primary since early September, while Lee Nak-yon finished runner-up with 39.14 percent of support.

Former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (R) congratulates Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung after the latter won the Democratic Party's nomination for president at the party primary event at SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul on Oct. 10, 2021, in this photo by the National Assembly press corps. (Yonhap)

The governor barely got the majority of the votes necessary to avoid a runoff. However, Lee Nak-yon's camp argued votes cast for two candidates who pulled out midway through the primary, Chung Se-kyun and Kim Doo-gwan, should have counted toward the total votes.

Lee Jae-myung earned 719,905 votes out of just under 1.46 million votes for his 50.29 percent support. But the 23,731 votes for Chung and 4,411 votes for Kim had been wiped out from the total votes.

If those had counted, then the governor's percentage would have dropped to 48.38 percent, or 719,905 votes out of about 1.48 million. That would have set up a runoff and given Lee Nak-yon a second chance.

The Democratic Party's election commission has maintained it only followed a party rule stipulating votes thrown for candidates who stepped down from the primary be wiped out from the final tally.

The party's leadership earlier denied Lee Nak-yon's request for an executive meeting to review the particular rule.

On his rival's appeal, Lee Jae-myung said he believed the party's election commission and leadership would "make a reasonable interpretation of the party's rules and proceed accordingly."

"I'll wait for the party's decision," the governor added.

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