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Parties draw up proportional candidate lineup

Shin Hyun-young. Yonhap
Shin Hyun-young. Yonhap

The ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition United Future Party are heading into a double clash in the April 15 general elections, with both fielding satellite parties for proportional representative seats.

The Future Korea Party, a satellite party of the United Future Party, has shortlisted 40 candidates. The ruling Democratic Party’s satellite party, whose name roughly translates to “Citizen’s Party,” is entering the race with 30 candidates.

In proportional representative selection, candidates are numbered and those with smaller numbers are given priority.

For its first candidate, the Future Korea Party has chosen Yun Ju-keyng, former head of the Independence Hall of Korea and granddaughter of independence fighter Yun Bong-gil.

Yun was named the first candidate after friction with the Future Korea Party that led to the latter’s chairman stepping down.

Yun’s selection for the top spot is believed to be an attempt at fending off accusations of the conservative party having pro-Japanese roots. In addition, the United Future Party has compared Yun’s family history to the party’s fight against President Moon Jae-in and the ruling party.

In announcing Yun’s joining the party, United Future Party Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn compared his party’s actions to the independence movement, saying that his party was “fighting the Moon Jae-in administration to hand down a better future.”

As for the Democratic Party’s satellite party, it has chosen a doctor who has gained public attention in the COVID-19 outbreak, in an apparent bid to highlight the party’s focus on fighting the pandemic and to capitalize on current issues.

The party’s first candidate is Dr. Shin Hyun-young of Myongji Hospital. Shin is a member of the Korean Academy of Family Medicine’s COVID-19 task force and leads Myongji Hospital’s COVID-19 epidemiology team.

In addition to the Democratic Party’s sister party, another proportional party with a pro-Moon stance is hoping to gain seats in the upcoming elections.

The party, whose name translates to “Open Democratic Party,” is led by Rep. Sohn Hye-won and Chung Bong-ju. Chung and Sohn are both former members of the ruling party, and both have had their ties to the party cut off following allegations of illegal activities.

For the party’s first spot, Sohn chose Kim Jin-ai, who served a term in the National Assembly as a proportional representative and made a name for herself by delving into the four rivers project conducted by the Lee Myung-bak administration.

Sohn’s party, which attempted to recruit former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, and the Democratic Party’s satellite party have drawn fire from the opposition bloc for its pro-Moon stance.

Following the two parties’ announcement of their candidates, United Future Party’s Hwang accused them of “unmatched shamelessness,” saying the parties have put forth candidates who defended “icon of unfairness Cho Kuk.”

By Choi He-suk (