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Lee Jae-myung confirmed as DP presidential candidate: party chief

10:49 October 11, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- The chief of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) said Monday the nomination of Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung as its presidential candidate was confirmed and decided in accordance with the party rules after runner-up ex-Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon appealed the results.

Lee Jae-myung won 50.29 percent of all votes cast in the course of the party's 11-round primary since last month, followed by Lee Nak-yon with 39.14 percent. The governor needed a majority of the votes to avoid a runoff.

"We announced Lee Jae-myung as the DP candidate for the 20th presidential election yesterday," Rep. Song Young-gil, chairman of the party, told reporters at the national cemetery in the central city of Daejeon accompanied by the governor.

Hours after Lee Jae-myung's victory, Lee Nak-yon's camp said it will appeal the results, arguing that votes thrown in support of two candidates who dropped out midway through the primary -- Chung Se-kyun and Kim Doo-gwan -- should have counted toward the total votes.

In that case, the total votes would rise from about 1.46 million to around 1.48 million, making Lee Jae-myung's winning total drop to 48.38 percent, which would have forced a runoff with Lee Nak-yon.

The DP said it followed a party rule stipulating votes cast for candidates who pull out from the primary be voided.

"Just like South Korea is run by the Constitution, the ruling DP is also run by a party constitution and regulations," Song said, adding the specific clause was approved during a party convention in August last year when Lee Nak-yon himself was elected as then party chief.

On his rival's appeal, Lee Jae-myung said he expects the party to wisely handle the issue based on "common sense, principle and party constitution and regulations."

Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung gives his acceptance speech after winning the ruling Democratic Party's nomination for president during a primary event at SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul on Oct. 10, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)


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