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Ruling party chief vows to win April general elections

All News 13:55 January 18, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- The leader of the ruling Saenuri Party apologized Monday for the parliament's failure to do its job as he vowed to win a sweeping victory in the April general elections.

"The 19th National Assembly is being criticized and assessed as the worst parliament ever," Chairman Kim Moo-sung said at a press conference. "I offer a word of apology as the leader of the ruling party."

The 19th National Assembly elected in the 2012 general elections virtually ended its four-year term last month without much improvement compared with previous assemblies.

There is widespread speculation that the rival parties will have difficulty doing their job before the current parliamentary term officially ends in May as they are likely to be mired in campaigns for the elections in April.

Kim also acknowledged that the party had failed to comfort the people who are concerned about a high jobless rate and increasing education costs amid a sluggish economy.

Kim reiterates that fixing the rigid labor market is the foundation of President Park Geun-hye's "four major reforms," referring to the reform drive centered on the labor, public, finance and education sectors.

Kim noted that the ultimate goal of the labor reform drive is to create more jobs, especially to boost youth employment.

The ruling party and the government have been stressing the importance of giving more jobs to young adults and the unemployed, saying that more jobs will ultimately turn the sluggish economy around.

Kim also expressed hope of winning 180 seats out of the 300-seat National Assembly, a clear majority that could allow his party to pass bills without the opposition parties' consent.

A recent poll showed that Kim was the runner-up followed by Moon Jae-in, chief of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, in a supposed two-way race for the next presidential election.

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