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Opposition defection takes People's Party seats to 20

Rep. Chyung Ho-joon, who was dropped from the general election nomination list of The Minjoo Party of Korea last week, joined the minor People’s Party on Wednesday.

The People’s Party led by Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo thereby gained parliamentary negotiation status with a total of 20 incumbent lawmakers, less than two months after its launch. The People’s Party is mostly made up of Minjoo Party defectors who left after clashing consistently with the party leadership, which was previously led by Rep. Moon Jae-in.

The Minjoo Party has been carrying out a large-scale reshuffle of its candidates, dropping veteran and prominent party members including a former prime minister, Rep. Lee Hae-chan.

Chyung had held a press conference Tuesday lambasting the decision by the party leadership led by Kim Jong-in, saying the nomination process was unfair and damaging to the party’s chances of winning the April 13 parliamentary race.

Rep. Chyung Ho-joon (right) enters a press conference with Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo to announce that he is joining the People’s Party to run in the April 13 general election. (Yonhap)
Rep. Chyung Ho-joon (right) enters a press conference with Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo to announce that he is joining the People’s Party to run in the April 13 general election. (Yonhap)
Sources said Chyung’s decision to join Ahn’s party was largely influenced by his father, former opposition heavyweight and Minjoo Party adviser Chyung Dai-chul.

With Chyung Ho-joon on board, the People’s Party will receive state subsidies of up to 7.3 billion won ($6.1 million) if its number of seats remains 20 or above by March 28, when the funds are doled out.

There are talks of potential defection by Rep. Lim Nae-hyun, who was dropped from the People’s Party’s nomination.
 
(khnews@heraldcorp.com)

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