Main opposition selects party’s former election campaign chief as new interim leader

SEOUL,  South Korea’s main opposition party, straining to shake off last month’s crushing electoral defeat, on Friday elected its former election campaign chief as interim leader, hoping to restructure and resuscitate itself.

Kim Chong-in, who steered the conservative United Future Party (UFP) during the election campaign for the April 15 parliamentary elections, was chosen with overwhelming support to be the new interim leader during a meeting of the party’s lawmaker-elects, according to Rep. Joo Ho-young, the party’s floor leader.

The lawmaker-elects also agreed to retain the emergency leadership till the by-elections on April 7 next year, Joo said.

After losing big in the general elections, the main opposition party has sought to form an emergency leadership body to salvage and reform the party.

Joo plans to convey the party’s latest decision to Kim during the day and ask him to accept the party leadership post.

Party officials see a high chance that he accepts the offer, since he has shown his conditional interest in the position.

Kim, once in power again, may also control another opposition party, Future Korea Party, a satellite entity of UFP that was created as part of an election strategy.

Holding a meeting of senior members on the same day, the Future Korea Party resolved to pursue a merger with the umbrella party before the opening of the National Assembly’s new term on May 30.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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