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(LEAD) Opposition party chief vows to resign soon

All News 11:26 January 19, 2016

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SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- A main opposition party leader said Tuesday that he will resign from his post as soon as possible, following a factional feud within the embattled party in the lead-up to the general elections in April.

"I will resign from the chairman post as soon as the new party leadership is settled," Moon Jae-in, chairman of the Minjoo Party of Korea, told reporters at the National Assembly. "I believe this is the choice that would benefit the party the most at the moment."

Moon said he is stepping aside to integrate the opposition bloc, adding that he will announce the exact time of the resignation after discussions with senior party members.

Moon is currently trying to recruit new political figures following the high-profile departure of Ahn Cheol-soo, a former co-chairman of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy.

Moon and Ahn failed to work out differences over how to reform their party, which led to Ahn's departure.

Moon has since changed the name of the party to the Minjoo Party of Korea in an apparent move to improve its image before the April 13 poll.

"The party should be open to the idea of integrating or joining hands with Ahn's new party," Moon said.

A recent poll showed that Moon was the front-runner in a supposed two-way race for the next presidential election. Kim Moo-sung, chairman of the ruling Saenuri Party, was the runner-up.

khj@yna.co.kr
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