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Wed Dec 4, 2019, 02:15 PM

South Korea: LKP Executive Committee rejects Na Kyung-won as Assembly floor leader

(Source- JTBC News, 12.4) Na Kyung-won, LKP floor leader in the National Assembly. "Today at the regular session, I will not question the matter of my term extension. Floor leader Na Kyung-won's foot steps stop here."

The Executive Committee of the right wing Liberty Korea Party earlier today after an all night long conference, voted not to renew Na Kyung-won's position as the Floor Leader of the opposition party in the National Assembly. It appears the conference where the decision took place was in a tent outside the Blue House grounds where LKP leader and former Prime Minister, Hwang Kyo-Ahn, had been conducting his "hunger strike" until he gave that up last week. However after he left the hospital he returned to the scene of his demonstration where his followers and supporters waited.

At the opening of the National Assembly this morning, Na somewhat bitterly, announced she would respect the decision of the LKP Executive Committee, and not take a further step as the party floor leader. This "in order to ensure the good of the people and the unity of the party." There is a storm of indignation and criticism within the Liberty Korea Party at the step taken by the so called "pro Hwang faction" in the Executive Committee. Expressions of resistance, public, private and on line to the committee's resolution was plentiful. LKP members of the National Assembly questioned the authority of the party committee to make such a decision, and maintained it was the prerogative of sitting LKP National Assembly members. Further, some felt that the committee was without authority to make such a determination when the new session of the National Assembly was not yet convened pending elections in April.

(Source- JTBC News, 11.20) Liberty Korea Party leader, Hwang Kyo-ahn on a hunger strike in front of the Blue House grounds.

The future of the right wing opposition party is in doubt at a critical time in South Korean history as the rift between Hwang and Na breaks out into the open. One wonders what Na and Hwang discussed when she visited his tent in front of the Blue House grounds after returning from her recent US visit. That the Executive Committee's action might portend the end of the Liberty Korea Party as we know it, was a fear expressed publicly by some members. One LKP assembly member openly criticized Hwang's hunger strike affecting a pose as a party reformer, attempting to sanctify the party. His head shaving and fasting reminiscent of traditional ascetic protests, previously used by revered left leaning reformers such as Kim Dae-jung who opposed the prior military dictatorships of South Korea. The omnipresence of Christian conference leaders and their followers at Hwang's demonstration are an indication of where the base of former impeached President Park's predecessor Saenuri party lay.

Hwang's holier than thou effect, is an implied but unexpressed contrast to the alleged corruption and hypocrisy of Na Kyung-won's effort to use her political position during the Lee Myung-bak presidency to obtain her daughter's admission to college. This is the very same type of behavior that was used to drive the former democratic party justice minister from power only several weeks ago. I asked three weeks ago in a previous analysis, how long would Na last?*

*Conservative LKP Leader Na Kyung-won on the Ropes? November 14, 2019

The internal criticism of the Executive Committee's action by Na's supporters within the LKP suggests that Hwang has privatized the party, making it his personal domain, betraying "the interests of the people." Na had just recently declared an all out legislative confrontation with the ruling coalition in the National Assembly by carrying out a filibuster to block all pending legislation before the end of the legislative session unless the proposed fast track reform bills were set aside by the Democratic Party. Democratic Party leaders are attempting to devise a strategy in conjunction with three small minority parties to nullify the filibuster. One tactic would be to declare an end to the regular session next week followed immediately by an extraordinary sesssion of the National Assembly to pass all pending legislation. Filibusters are not allowed in extraordinary session. So the looming constitutional crisis continues. It was hoped on the right that the left would be the victim, but it appears the right may crack first under the pressure.

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