Rep. Kim Han-gil and independent Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo are gearing up for the launch of their new party despite concerns of internal discord within both of their organizations.
From Wednesday, Democratic Party leader Kim and Ahn are set to begin a nationwide tour to whip up support for the new party.
In addition, Kim named three-term lawmaker Rep. Sul Hoon as the chief of the committee that will oversee the new party’s launch, which the two sides plan to complete before March 23.
“I think that those in power have begun to feel fear (as they are) faced with the new power of integration,” Kim said at the general meeting of DP lawmakers on Monday.
“Founding a new party is aimed at engaging in new politics within a larger framework. I don’t think that on its own the merger guarantees a rosy future. An image of new politics, which is different from the stage of launching the party, will be built.”
Contrary to earlier rumors, co-chair of Ahn’s new politics committee Yoon Yeo-jun also revealed that he will participate in the launching process.
Yoon, who worked for the presidential campaign of the DP’s Rep. Moon Jae-in in 2012, said that he will join the process and that Ahn’s decision was a “bold and unavoidable choice.”
While the majority of the DP’s supreme council and the bigwigs of Ahn’s committee are toeing the line, the DP-Ahn merger is already creating friction on both sides.
Following Sunday’s announcement Kim Sung-shik, co-chief of Ahn’s committee, announced on his Twitter account that he would have no part in the process.
Ahn’s meeting with Oh Keo-don, who is running for Busan mayor, has also ruffled feathers. Oh is a former civil servant who served as the chief of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries under the Roh Moo-hyun administration,
The DP’s preliminary candidate for Busan mayor Lee Hae-sung criticized the meeting saying that Ahn’s meeting with Oh was inappropriate and “goes against the ideals of integration.”
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)