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Ruling party's top decision-making body to meet over disputed primary results

All News 10:55 October 13, 2021

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP)'s top decision-making body was set to meet Wednesday to discuss an appeal against the party's choice of Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung as its presidential nominee amid widespread indications that the decision is unlikely to change.

The DP party affairs committee was scheduled to meet later in the day after former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the runner-up in the primary, demanded the panel convene to discuss whether the votes in the primary were counted according to the party's electoral rules.

This photo, provided by the National Assembly photo press corps, shows former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (R) congratulating Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung on the latter's nomination as presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party at a handball arena in eastern Seoul on Oct. 10, 2021. (Yonhap)

The governor won the party's nomination on Sunday after securing 50.29 percent of all votes cast in the course of the primaries since early September, trailed by the former prime minister with 39.14 percent.

Lee Nak-yon's campaign has argued that the ballots thrown in support of two other candidates who later dropped out should be included in the total vote count, which would reduce Lee Jae-myung's share to 49.32 percent and force a runoff as a majority of votes is needed to win the primary.

Meanwhile, DP Chairman Rep. Song Young-gil has maintained that the party's electoral rules stipulate that votes for dropouts be nullified.

Multiple aides to Lee Nak-yon told Yonhap News Agency that he will accept the results of the committee meeting regardless of the outcome.

"The party affairs committee is equivalent to the Democratic Party's Supreme Court and has final authority over interpreting the party's constitution and rules," a key aide said by phone, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There is no way that we can not accept the results of the committee meeting, which are like a Supreme Court ruling."

The panel is made up of around 70 party leaders and officials, including heads of regional chapters, local government chiefs and chairs of National Assembly standing committees.

Many of the members have been appointed by DP Chairman Song, lessening the prospect they will accept Lee's appeal.

One aide to Lee said he expects the former prime minister to state his position following the meeting.

"Delaying things won't help anyone, so I expect him to come out with a message," the aide said.

hague@yna.co.kr
(END)

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