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Minjoo leader’s coalition offer rattles liberals

The main opposition party leader’s suggestion to align the opposition politicians ahead of the April general election continued to generate hubbub among the liberals Friday, with some prominent defectors toying with the offer.

The People’s Party co-chairmen Rep. Chun Jung-bae, who had left the Minjoo Party last year, indicated that the he would accept the proposal, if the party members endorsed it. “If the party makes a call, I think we have to follow it,” said Chun.

His remark reflected a changed mood within the fledging party. Though its leader Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo adamantly opposed merging with The Minjoo Party of Korea, some former Minjoo members with significant political clout raised the need to embrace the offer. 

“The People’s Party must free themselves from finding unnecessary justifications, and make a bold, practical decision,” said Rep. Choi Jae-cheon, the second-term lawmaker who has been working to broker a compromise between the two parties. 

The Minjoo Party leader Kim Jong-in. Yonhap
The Minjoo Party leader Kim Jong-in. Yonhap

The dissenting voices were seen to gain momentum after the Minjoo Party’s interim leader Kim Jong-in announced on Wednesday that he would “eradiate” factional politics that had forced the former Minjoo members to create the People’s Party.

Including the party’s leader Ahn, a total of 18 lawmakers defected the Minjoo Party in protest of its former leader Rep. Moon Jae-in. Since launching the party in February, the party has been suffering from declining support ratings, far below that of the Minjoo Party and the Saenuri Party.

By Yeo Jun-suk (