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(LEAD) Opposition picks ex-campaign chief to lead embattled party

All News 17:38 April 28, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 4-7; RECASTS 3rd para)

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main opposition party, which suffered a crushing defeat in the April 15 elections, on Tuesday picked a veteran politician to lead its interim leadership committee.

In a 177-84 vote, delegates of the United Future Party (UFP) picked Kim Chong-in, who shaped its election campaign in the recent general elections, to chair the party's interim leadership committee.

Kim is expected to officially take the post once floor leader and acting party chief Shim Jae-chul approves the result.

"(I plan to) tell the details of the vote to Kim again and ask him to accept the post ... I hope he will accept," Shim told reporters after the committee meeting.

But there is a chance the veteran politician may reject the offer for the post, which is tentatively set to expire at the end of August.

In an interview last week, Kim said he would accept the UFP's proposal on the condition that it guarantee an indefinite term and the same power as a regular party chairman.

Kim has engaged in campaigning and crisis management in both conservative and liberal parties during his decadeslong career.

In the recent election seen as a referendum on President Moon Jae-in, the main opposition and its satellite party managed to secure only 103 seats in the 300-seat parliament. The liberal Democratic Party (DP) and its affiliate party won 180 seats.

Former UFP chief Hwang Kyo-ahn immediately stepped down after losing to DP heavyweight and former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon in a key constituency in Seoul.

The United Future Party's former campaign chief, Kim Chong-in, is seen at his office near Gwanghwamun in central Seoul on April 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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