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(LEAD) People's Party picks interim leader

All Headlines 16:40 May 25, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 4-5; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- The minor opposition People's Party on Thursday picked Deputy National Assembly Speaker Park Joo-sun as its interim leader tasked with shoring up a demoralized party in the wake of an election defeat earlier this month.

Park, the four-term lawmaker and former prosecutor, will lead the center-left party until its leadership election expected to come in August.

With his election, the party will form an emergency leadership panel that will make key party decisions until a new leadership is elected.

"Despite our party being in a crisis, we can win back people's support, find our new role and conduct politics that is rewarding if we stand united and piece together our wisdom with our sacrifice and determination," he said during his acceptance speech.

Deputy National Assembly Speaker Park Joo-sun speaks after his election as the minor opposition People's Party's interim leader at the parliament in Seoul on May 25, 2017. (Yonhap)

"To this end, the first and foremost thing is internal unity," he added.

In the May 9 presidential poll, Ahn Cheol-soo, the party's candidate once seen as a major challenger to Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party, ranked third, garnering 21.4 percent of the vote, 2.6 percentage points lower than second-place Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party. Moon garnered 41.1 percent of the vote.


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