Cho Kuk takes an independent route and is likely to run for proportional office.
Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk officially declared the creation of a new party on the 13th. In the political world, there were early predictions that the ‘New Cho Kuk Party’ would join the integrated proportional party, which is in fact a satellite party of the Democratic Party of Korea, but the Democratic Party drew a line on this day, saying that joining the Cho Kuk New Party was not possible. In the end, Cho Kuk’s new party is expected to follow the ‘Open Democratic Party model’ that secured three proportional representation seats in the last general election.
Rep. Park Hong-geun, who is the head of the promotion team of the Democratic Party’s ‘Democratic Reform and Progressive Election Coalition’ (Democratic Alliance), responded to former Minister Cho’s declaration of founding the party on Facebook on this day, saying, “Former Minister Cho’s political participation or the creation of an independent party in this desperate historic election will never be possible for the people.” “Rather than helping to win, it will only spawn unnecessary controversy, conflict, and persistent attacks,” he said, adding, “I earnestly and strongly request that you exercise self-respect for the unity and victory of the Democratic Party and progressive reform forces.” At the same time, he emphasized, “As the head of the Democratic Party’s election coalition promotion team, even if a new party is created, it is difficult to consider it as the target of an election coalition to win this general election.” The promotion team is an organization within the Democratic Party that is preparing to create a pan-opposition integrated proportional political party.
As the Democratic Party has blocked the possibility of joining a proportional party, Cho Kuk’s new party is expected to take its own path. There had previously been a strong negative trend within the Democratic Party regarding the joining of Cho Kuk’s new party. Former Minister Cho seemed to have taken this atmosphere into consideration at the party founding press conference held at Busan Democracy Park on this day, saying, “I will not decide my course of action while worrying about what decision the Democratic Party will make.”
In the political world, the Open Democratic Party is mentioned as a model for Cho Kuk’s new party. The Open Democratic Party, which targeted hard-core supporters among the opposition supporters, recorded a party vote rate of 5.42% in the 21st National Assembly election and won three proportional representation seats. There is an interpretation that former Minister Cho’s suggestion of impeachment of President Yoon Seok-yeol on this day was with this election strategy in mind. While answering questions from reporters, he said, “This election should serve as an opportunity to judge the Yoon Seok-yeol administration and bring it to an early end.” He added, “If the people say in the general election that they will see the Yoon Seok-yeol administration for three and a half more years and then replace it in the presidential election, we must follow their wishes.” . “If you think you can’t wait for three and a half years, you have to follow their wishes,” he said.
The Open Democratic Party merged with the Democratic Party about a year after the 21st election. Cho Kuk’s new party is also likely to take the same steps if it enters the National Assembly in this general election.
In the case of former Minister Cho, there are predictions that he may run for the Busan constituency, but considering reality, it seems more likely that he will run for proportional representation. Regarding this, former Minister Cho said, “The decision to ‘run in Busan or not’ is too quick,” and added, “It is very important to create a one-on-one structure of the Yoon Seok-yeol regime versus the anti-Yoon Seok-yeol regime in all constituencies, if possible. “I will also work hard to create a political party,” he said.
Reporters Kim Seung-hwan and Choi Woo-seok
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