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(LEAD) People's Party to elect new leader next month

All News 16:23 July 10, 2017

(ATTN: RECONSTRUCTS; ADDS more info in last para)

SEOUL, July 10 (Yonhap) -- The minor opposition People's Party will elect its new leader next month, party officials said Monday, as it strives to regain public trust in the wake of a recent fake tip-off scandal and election defeat in May.

The officials said that the party will hold a national convention on Aug. 27 in Seoul to fill the top post that has been vacant since former leader Park Jie-won resigned on May 10 to take responsibility for the humiliating defeat in the presidential vote.

The new leader is set to lead the party until early 2019.

The center-left party, currently led by interim leader Park Joo-sun, faces its biggest crisis since a rank-and-file member was accused last month of doctoring an election-season accusation against President Moon Jae-in's son.

The priority for the new leader will be to overcome the crisis and regroup the party ahead of the gubernatorial and mayoral elections next year, which are seen as a public referendum on President Moon Jae-in's first year in office, observers said.

Potential candidates for the top post include former party leader Chun Jung-bae, four-term lawmaker Chung Dong-young and Moon Byeong-ho, a former member of the party's Supreme Council, analysts said. Reps. Hwang Ju-hong and Lee Dong-sup are also seen as possible contenders.

Park Joo-sun, the interim leader of the minor opposition People's Party, speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on July 10, 2017. (Yonhap)


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