The main opposition United Future Party has found itself in a state of confusion after the veteran politician who was picked to head its interim leadership committee turned down the job.
On Tuesday, the conservative group voted for Kim Chong-in, who joined the party to lead its April 15 election campaign, to take the helm as emergency leader for about four months until the next national convention.
But Kim rejected the offer, complaining about the short tenure.
Previously, Kim has said he would assume the job only if he were granted full authority for as long as he sees needed to rebuild the embattled conservative party for the 2022 presidential election.
Establishing the new leadership is the first step for the party to recover from a crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections and regain voter confidence.
The party’s Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn stepped down from the post two weeks ago to take responsibility for the election results.
Party bigwigs and junior members have been voicing their growing opposition to Kim, calling for an immediate change of the floor leader and a new generation of leaders.
“I requested (that we hold) a meeting of the elected candidates to select a new floor leader so that the leader could take responsibility for our future plans,” Rep. Cho Kyoung-tae told reporters after a meeting with the current floor leader and acting party chief, Shim Jae-chul.
Rep. Kim Se-yeon said the current leadership seemed to have lost traction. “What we can do is pick a new floor leader from lawmaker-elects and expect the leadership to come up with plans to overcome the crisis,” he said.
The party’s floor leader election is expected to take place May 8.
By Park Han-na (email@example.com)