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Liberty Korea Party changes controversial primary rule

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Published : 2017-03-15 15:09
Updated : 2017-03-15 15:09

With Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn withdrawing from the presidential race, the Liberty Korea Party said Wednesday it has decided to revise the controversial primary rules criticized for giving favor to popular figures like Hwang.

Under the revision, the party will trim the number of applicants for the primary to four through two rounds of opinion polls on March 17 and 19.

Leaders of the Liberty Korea Party hold a meeting in Seoul on March 15, 2017. (Yonhap)

The former ruling party had earlier decided to allow prominent figures to skip preliminary races and join the final primary at the last moment, apparently taking the acting president into consideration.

The rule revision came after Hwang announced his decision not to run in the presidential election slated for May 9.

So far, nine politicians from the former ruling party have publicly announced their ambitions. South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo also plans to declare his candidacy later this week.

The party has been waiting for the acting president to declare his presidential ambitions, as Hwang was virtually the only conservative figure that held significant presence in opinion polls.

According to the poll conducted Saturday and Sunday by the Korea Research Center, commissioned by Yonhap News Agency and KBS, Hwang ranked third with an approval rating of 9.1 percent. (Yonhap)