The members of a new conservative party that broke away from the ruling Saenuri Party decided to call themselves the Barun Party in a meeting Sunday.
The party was previously referred to as the New Conservative Party for Reform.
With the new name, the party sought to expand beyond their political identity as a right-wing party to a “clean and warm” political group, said the party’s naming committee. The word “Barun” means “proper” or “righteous” in Korean.
Choung Byoung-gug, head of the Barun Party’s preparation committee, explains the meaning of ‘Barun Party’ to former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon at the plenary session and general meeting on Monday (Yonhap)
While political bigwigs in the party had been considering using the term “conservative” in the name, the committee decided it was not necessary.
“Because we pursue conservative politics does not mean we should include the word ‘conservative’ in the name,” Hong Jong-hwa, a PR expert and the head of the party’s naming committee said in the meeting.
However, the decision brought some complaints from lawmakers, who think the name influences a party’s direction.
“It is inappropriate to think the word would narrow down the party’s character because we claim to be the mainstream conservative party,” Rep. Kwon Seong-dong said in the meeting.
The Barun Party is composed of some 30 lawmakers that left the ruling Saenuri Party amid a factional feud between them and the ruling party’s leadership, which is loyal to recently impeached President Park Geun-hye.
Polls put the party second in terms of support, with 13.4 percent, after the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea which garnered 37.6 percent according to a poll released Monday by local pollster Real Meter. The approval rate of the ruling Saenuri Party stood at 12.2 percent.
The Barun party registered as a negotiating group at the National Assembly last month, giving its members access to legislative committee positions, and will declare its official establishment on Jan. 24.
By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp,com