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Saenuri's interim chief condemns Park loyalists

All Headlines 12:00 January 03, 2017

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- The new interim head of the ruling Saenuri Party continued to upbraid party members loyal to President Park Geun-hye, a move expected to spark another round of factional feuding after an exodus of lawmakers last month.

In Myung-jin, head of the emergency leadership panel, earlier threatened a sweeping purge of key Park loyalists, calling on them to leave the party and take responsibility for the political scandal which led to the president's impeachment in December.

In response to In's demands, former Saenuri head Rep. Lee Jung-hyun announced on Monday he will leave the party, but the push has run into opposition from many within the conservative party.

The new head also criticized eight-term lawmaker Rep. Suh Chung-won, who sent a letter that requested him to refrain from making aggressive statements.

"Suh shouldn't be so rude and show respect," In said.

As Suh stands as a key figure among the loyalists, political pundits said the remark indicates In's intent to seek an all-out battle.

Saenuri faces its biggest crisis as Park was impeached by parliament on Dec. 9 over suspicions of corruption and influence peddling. A group of 29 lawmakers bolted from the party last month, forcing Saenuri to cede its position of largest player in parliament to the main opposition Democratic Party.

colin@yna.co.kr
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