The main opposition Democratic Party and maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo on Sunday began formal groundwork for a new coalition party to be launched later this month to challenge the ruling camp in the upcoming local elections and ultimately in the next presidential race.
Some 330 members each from the DP and Ahn's party-in-the-making "New Political Vision Party" convened for the first official meeting to discuss guidelines for the party's launch scheduled for March 26.
DP leader Kim Han-gil and entrepreneur-turned-politician Ahn were elected co-chairmen of a preparatory committee that serves as the control tower in launching the fledgling new party that was announced just two weeks ago.
The new party's name in Korean roughly translates as "New Political Vision Democratic Party." Ocean blue was adopted as its official color, staying with the bluish hues used by both sides.
"The new party name literally means mutual respect and equal coalition by the two sides. The name also contains public calls for 'new politics,' and the DP's history and tradition," spokesmen of the preparatory committee said.
The name was selected from suggestions received through a public campaign and approved by the two sides, the spokesmen said.
The two sides agreed to form a new party on March 2, a surprise move that upended the political landscape ahead of nationwide local elections on June 4, seen as a confidence vote on the incumbent Park Geun-hye administration that marked its one-year anniversary late last month. (Yonhap)