DP announces package of reform measures amid sluggish support for Lee
SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- The leader of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) said Tuesday he will not seek reelection for the next National Assembly and will push a series of reforms as the party scrambled to boost sluggish support for its presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung.
Speaking at a press conference, Rep. Song Young-gil, a five-term lawmaker and chairman of the DP, said his party will not nominate candidates for three of the five parliamentary seats up for grabs in the March 9 by-election, which will be conducted alongside the presidential election.
The three districts are Jongno, the political center of Seoul, Anseong in Gyeonggi Province and a district in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
"Over the past nine months, we have worked for change and reform in response to the public's censure of our ineffective reform, hypocrisy and arrogance," the chairman said at the party's headquarters. "However, the Democratic Party's self-reflection, change and reform fell fall short of what was needed to soothe the anger, disappointment and wounds of the people."
"We take to heart that the people's strong demands for a change of government are due to our shortcomings," Song continued. "The Democratic Party will return to the proper functions and basics of politics through self-reform and by laying down our vested rights, as demanded by the people."
The measures follow a growing sense of urgency within the party, as its presidential candidate Lee has been overtaken by his rival in recent polls..
In two surveys published Monday, Lee was trailing behind Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party 36.8 percent to 42 percent and 33.6 percent to 37.8 percent.
Song said his party will move to swiftly expel three lawmakers accused of misconduct in line with the recommendation of a parliamentary panel. The three are Reps. Youn Mee-hyang, Park Duk-hyum and Lee Sang-jik.
Moreover, the DP will push to formally adopt a ban on seeking reelection in the same district after three consecutive terms, he said.
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