Main opposition party, minor party agree to merge ahead of elections

SEOUL-- The main opposition People Power Party and minor opposition People's Party agreed to merge Monday in line with an earlier deal between President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and his coalition partner Ahn Cheol-soo.

The two parties approved the merger at their respective Supreme Council meetings, both sides said, and will jointly field candidates for the June 1 local elections.

The merger was part of a broader agreement between Yoon of the PPP and Ahn, the leader of the People's Party, under which Ahn dropped out of the presidential race, just days before the election, to back Yoon's campaign.

The two sides are expected to officially announce their merger later Monday.

The People's Party was founded by Ahn in February 2020. The combined party is expected to keep the PPP's name and be headed by PPP Chairman Lee Jun-seok.

The three lawmakers currently belonging to the People's Party will now represent the PPP, raising its number of seats to 113 in the 300-member National Assembly.

The merger talks were briefly suspended as Yoon and Ahn apparently clashed over the nomination of Cabinet members but were finalized after the two patched up their row last week.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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