The Korea Herald


Former People's Party joint chief drops election bid

By Korea Herald

Published : March 17, 2016 - 15:27

    • Link copied

Former cochairman of the minor opposition party Rep. Kim Han-gil said Thursday he will not be running in next month’s parliamentary race. The decision followed a clash between him and People’s Party founder and coleader Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo over the option of aligning with the main opposition party.

“I have argued that partisan alliance among the opposition is necessary in order for us to expand our seats in the metropolitan region and prevent the horrendous situation in which the ruling forces win a sweeping victory,” Kim said in a press statement. “I am taking responsibility for failing to have (the alliance) realized.”

Kim had resigned from his position as cochairman on Friday last week after Ahn turned down his suggestion to seek an alliance with The Minjoo Party of Korea.

From left: People’s Party cochairmen Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, Rep. Chun Jung-bae and Rep. Kim Han-gil (Yonhap) From left: People’s Party cochairmen Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo, Rep. Chun Jung-bae and Rep. Kim Han-gil (Yonhap)
The four-term lawmaker has been seeing his chances of winning in his constituency of Gwangjin-gu in Seoul ebb away after unsuccessfully floating the idea of joining hands with the Minjoo Party. The talks of an alliance was first initiated by Minjoo Party chief Kim Chong-in on March 2.

As internal talks at the People’s Party looked unpromising with Ahn’s vehement opposition, the Minjoo Party swiftly dropped under-the-table negotiations with Kim by naming its own candidate to run in Kim’s constituency on Monday.

Kim’s fellow cochairman Chun Jung-bae had initially appeared to join his move in the face of declining public approval ratings against the party’s star member Ahn. Chun, however, changed his mind and called a truce with Ahn on Wednesday, leaving Kim on his own.

Kim and Ahn had shared the leadership at the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, the precursor to the Minjoo Party, in 2014. They had jointly resigned from the post after a by-election defeat in July the same year. Kim joined Ahn’s new party earlier this year after both of them defected from the Minjoo Party over deep-running factional rivalries.