| Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), on Wednesday lashed out against controversies surrounding the party`s in-house feud over nominations of candidates to run in the upcoming by-elections.
"When those who are closely connected to me are the best candidates, I get criticized for favoritism. When they fail to get nominated, I am blamed for not taking care of my own people," he said. "Under such a standard, even the god would not be able to avoid criticisms."
He was referring to criticisms for his "favoritism" after coming under fire for trying to "strategically" nominate without conducting a primary Keum Tae-sup, the party`s former spokesman and Ahn`s close aide, as the party`s candidate to run in the Suwon D, Gyeonggi Province electoral district, after Keum failed to get nominated for the Dongjak B District in Seoul.
Noting that the Democratic Party, the NPAD`s predecessor, had attempted several times to scout Keum, Ahn asked, "How can (the NPAD) find new faces, if a competitive person is excluded just because he has worked closely with me?" In other words, Ahn claimed that Keum was the most competitive one in the pool of potential candidates available. However, the co-chairman did not provide any information that would support his claim.
On the same day, the NPAD announced that it "strategically" nominated Kwon Eun-hee, a former head investigator at the Suseo Police Station in Seoul, without a primary for the Gwangsan B, Gwangju district. The NPAD`s co-chairmen, Ahn and Kim Han-gil, told the party`s supreme council members that Kwon had accepted the offer to run in the electoral district.
After nominating Sohn Hak-kyu for the Suwon C district, the NPAD feuded over the selection of a candidate for the Suwon D district. Initially, the party seemed likely to nominate its spokesman, Park Kwang-on. However, Lee Yong-deuk, one of the party`s supreme council members and a former leader of the Confederation of Korean Trade Unions, claimed that the party would lose the umbrella labor organization`s support if it fails to nominate him.
In the ruling Saenuri Party, Na Kyung-won, a former lawmaker of the party, expressed her bid to run in the Dongjak B district during a meeting with the party`s floor leader, Lee Wan-goo Wednesday, saying she would follow the party`s decision. The party`s emergency committee instructed its nomination panel to review the plan to nominate Han Sang-ryule, former chief of the state tax agency, for the Seosan-Taean district in South Chungcheong Province.