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Ex-Saenuri head departs on party feud

All Headlines 09:26 January 02, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Lee Jung-hyun, former head of the ruling Saenuri Party, left the party on Monday, bowing to pressure from a new interim leader on allies to President Park Geun-hye to clear the deck to refurbish the conservative party.

Saenuri faces its biggest crisis with the president impeached by parliament on Dec. 9 over a raft of corruption and influence-peddling allegations. A group of 29 lawmakers left Saenuri last month to establish the tentatively named New Conservative Party for Reform.

Lee had stepped down from his post in mid-December with other leaders to take responsibility for the passage of the impeachment motion.

Park was impeached amid suspicions that her confidante Choi Soon-sil exercised influence over key state affairs and used her ties with Park for financial gains and personal favors. State prosecutors identified Park as an accomplice.

colin@yna.co.kr
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