Twothirds of lawmakers defect from minor opposition
SEOUL About twothirds of the lawmakers of the minor opposition Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP) announced their defection Monday, heralding a major political realignment ahead of next years parliamentary elections.
Nine out of 14 PDP lawmakers offered to quit the No. 4 party en masse after leader Chung Dongyoung rejected their demand for his resignation.
Another lawmaker, who officially belongs to the thirdlargest Bareunmirae Party but has been active in the PDP, will also resign from her party post.
The 10 lawmakers pledged to create a new middleoftheroad party to challenge the domination of the two largest liberal and conservative parties.
We are setting out to explore a new alternative to reconstruct Korean politics, they said in a statement read in a news conference at the National Assembly.
They accused the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Liberty Korea Party of disregarding peoples sufferings and only seeking to maintain their vested interests.
But the centrist forces lack the capability to represent people disappointed with the two parties, they said.
We will bring together the divided and disordered thirdparty ranks and turn them into a sound and healthy political force and will serve as priming water for the construction of a new alternative party, they said.
They are widely expected to join forces with some liberal members of Bareunmirae to create a new party by November to prepare for the general elections scheduled for April.
Bareunmirae, which has 28 lawmakers, was created in February 2018 from the merger of two centrist parties the Peoples Party and the Bareun Party. Some Peoples Party members who opposed the merger launched the PDP in the same month.
One more legislator is also expected to announce his intention to leave the PDP in the afternoon.
Their defection will leave the PDP with only four lawmakers, ranking fifth after the leftist Justice Party, which holds six parliamentary seats.
Source: Yonhap News Agency