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)|
“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)