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Lee Hae-chan leads opinion poll on next ruling party chief

All Headlines 10:12 August 02, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- About 36 percent of supporters of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) picked Lee Hae-chan as a politician fit to be the liberal party's new chief, a poll showed Thursday.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter, 35.7 percent of 430 DP supporters said that the 66-year-old Lee, a seven-term lawmaker and former prime minister, is well suited to become the next party chief, who will replace the incumbent chairwoman Choo Mi-ae.

The 55-year-old Song Young-gil, a four-term lawmaker and former Incheon mayor, ranked second with 17.3 percent, followed by Kim Jin-pyo, the 71-year-old four-term lawmaker and former finance minister, with 14.6 percent, the poll showed.

The survey was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday on 1,002 adults throughout the nation.

The three lawmakers were shortlisted last week as the candidates for the DP leadership election slated for Aug. 25.

Lee's supporters said that if elected, Lee, a heavyweight in the ruling party, could play a key role in setting better relations with the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. He served as prime minister from 2004-2006.

Meanwhile, Song highlighted the need for a generational shift in the DP, and Kim emphasized his experience as finance minister.

When surveyed on all respondents including supporters for opposition parties, 26.4 percent of those surveyed supported Lee, followed by Kim with 19.1 percent and Song with 17.5 percent.

The three candidates plan to hold TV debates later in the day in Gwangju, some 329 kilometers south of Seoul.

These photos show three candidates for the ruling Democratic Party's new chief. From the left, they are Song Young-gil, the 55-year-old four-term lawmaker; Kim Jin-pyo, the 71-year-old four-term lawmaker; and Lee Hae-chan, the 66-year-old seven-term lawmaker. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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