The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) approved a plan to merge with two minor parties on Thursday in a bid to integrate conservatives ahead of the April parliamentary elections.
The LKP gave the green light to a proposal to merge with the New Conservative Party and Onward for Future 4.0. A committee preparing for the merger is eyeing the launch of a new party on Sunday.
"We push to merge with all parties, politicians and civic groups that uphold the Constitution and the principles of the free democracy and the market economy," the party said.
In November, LKP chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn announced an ambitious bid for conservative parties to join forces to seek a win in the April 15 elections.
The New Conservative Party was launched in early January by Rep. Yoo Seong-min and seven other lawmakers who defected from the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP).
Onward for Future 4.0 was created by Rep. Lee Un-ju, a former BP lawmaker.
If the three parties merge, the number of their total lawmakers will rise to 115 in the 295-member National Assembly. The ruling Democratic Party controls 129 seats.
The conservative bloc in South Korean politics has been split, stung by the fallout of the 2017 ouster of scandal-ridden President Park Geun-hye, once a darling of the political right.
Meanwhile, Ahn Cheol-soo, former presidential candidate, is preparing to launch a new party to shore up a pragmatic and middle-of-the-road politics. Ahn defected from the BP early this month. (Yonhap)