On the morning of the 17th, Mokdong High School in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul. Two very different age groups gathered in one classroom: an elderly person who is eager to study at the last minute while looking at thick printed materials, a young person checking YouTube lecture videos on their cell phones. This is to take the ‘Public Office Candidate Basic Qualification Assessment (PPAT)’ test conducted by the People’s Power for the first time in the history of a political party. A total of 4,500 test takers nationwide were made up of various age groups, from the youngest 19-year-old test taker who was born in 2002 to the 80-year-old test taker who was born in 1941.
This exam, which consists of 30 multiple-choice questions, is given the benefit of receiving a maximum of 10% additional points in proportion to the evaluation score in the case of constituency candidates. In the case of proportional representation, metropolitan members must score 70 or higher and basic legislators must score 60 or higher to qualify for nomination screening. Party leader Lee Jun-seok, who took the test together with the test takers, said, “When I made a pledge at the national convention, there was an intention to test the local constituency as well, but this time, it was inevitable that I would take the test with additional points.” We will also consider testing it.”
As for the exam questions, content related to the People’s Power Party constitutional rules, the Public Official Election Act, and current issues were asked. In particular, a number of foreign and security issues such as the ROK-U.S. alliance, economic security, and North Korean human rights policy emerged and drew attention. Questions were also presented to evaluate analysis and judgment or to understand the party’s policy understanding.
The People’s Power side explained, “The evaluation questions are difficult enough that those who have the ability to discriminate but have studied based on the PPAT video lectures and textbooks can solve them.” Previously, the People’s Power posted video lectures on the party’s constitutional rules, North Korea policy, the Public Official Election Act, foreign affairs and security, etc.
When an actual reporter took the PPAT test, some rather local and specific questions were asked, making it difficult for the test takers. For example, the number of provincial and provincial party delegates is stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Power Party as ‘within 0.05%’ of the number of voters in the provincial and provincial parties.
As the length of the questions and passages on the exam is rather long, it was also possible to predict that the pros and cons would be divided according to the age group. Young people who had just given up studying at school were able to solve it easily, but older people who had a relatively slow reading comprehension expressed dissatisfaction. There were many students who had difficulty solving 30 questions in 60 minutes. Mo (66) Lee, whom I met right after the test, expressed dissatisfaction, saying, “CEO Jun-seok Lee said that anyone can get a perfect score if they study just by watching the video, but the data and the test given out by the people’s power came out completely different.”
On the other hand, former member Eunpyeong-gu So Shim-hyang said, “It started with the purpose of filtering out unqualified candidates, and I see it positively as the candidates can develop basic knowledge through this test.”
Regarding the situation in which there are differences of opinion within the party, Chairman Lee said, “Is it a scenario where the internal evaluation, personality evaluation, and contribution to the party that they claim as alternatives are possible, or is it for the so-called ‘Jjjamjami nomination’ or ‘closed room nomination’? I want to ask you a question.”
[ⓒ 매일경제 & mk.co.kr, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]