Kim Han-gil regains lead in DUP race
By Kim Jung-yoon
Lawmaker-elect Kim Han-gil won the Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province primary to elect the next chairperson of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP), amid a strained competition between contenders.
Kim garnered 280 votes from 664 DUP members, who each cast two votes, re-emerging as the frontrunner in the leadership race with a combined 1,024 votes from the four polls taken so far.
Another lawmaker-elect Choo Mi-ae came second with 212 votes, followed by Lee Hae-chan, considered the main rival of Kim with 200.
Kim and Lee won the first and second regional primaries held in Ulsan and Busan, respectively. Lee, who had been a frontrunner until the third round in Gwangju, lost the lead to Kim in the series of the regional races — he has a combined 972 votes.
Observers say that Kim’s upset win in the relatively neutral Daegu-North Gyeongsang region could indicate him winning in the leadership elections with a bandwagon effect among undecided voters.
Lee’s defeat came following a mounting internal backlash over a “backdoor alliance” with the newly-elected floor leader Rep. Park Jie-won, in an attempt to share the two top posts.
Meanwhile Rep. Kang Ki-jung, who won the third race in Gwangju and South Jeolla Province, came sixth with only 115 votes.