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New conservative party convenes promoters meeting

All Headlines 14:09 January 05, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- A group of lawmakers who left the ruling Saenuri Party to establish a separate organization hosted a meeting of promoters Thursday, taking the official step to launch the tentatively named New Conservative Party for Reform.

The planned party kicked off with 1,185 promoters, including the governors of Gyeonggi Province and the southern resort island of Jeju, who left Saenuri to join the new party movement. Former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon also bolted from the ruling party joined the new party.

Chung Tae-ik, honorary head of the Korean Council on Foreign Relations who is also known as a close friend of former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was also among the initiators.

Rep. Choung Byoung-gug, who heads the preparation committee, said the new party will seek to realize what it calls "transparent and warm-hearted conservatism."

Members are currently working on finalizing the party's name, with some claiming the title should include "conservative," while others insist it should adopt a neutral name to embrace a wider scope of supporters.

The new party's members spun off from Saenuri after colliding with loyalists to President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached in December for the influence-peddling scandal involving her confidante Choi Soon-sil.

The planned party will open its headquarters in Yeouido, where the National Assembly is located.

colin@yna.co.kr
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