SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- An interim leader of the main opposition Democratic Party apologized Friday after her call for the party's mainstream group of lawmakers to retire from politics sparked an internal feud criticized as eroding the party's chances in the upcoming local elections.
Park Ji-hyun was at the center of the infighting after she called for a "beautiful exit" of party members belonging to so-called "Generation 586," which refers to people who are in their 50s, went to university in the 1980s and were born in the 1960s.
In a press conference, she claimed the members in that generation, who led the country's democratic movement in the 1980s, have "fulfilled their historic calling" and that some of them should keep their promise of retirement after the presidential election.
The 26-year-old's remarks, however, sparked anger from the DP leadership and veteran politicians who fall into the generation, with some criticizing Park for not consulting with the party before talking publicly about party reform and dividing its members.
"I want to sincerely apologize to all DP candidates running in the elections," Park said in her social media post. "I also want to apologize that I held a press conference without consulting enough with the party leadership."
Park said there is a misunderstanding over her remarks on "Generation 586," claiming she did not mean all party members in that generation should retire.
Park's apology is seen as a move to patch up the feud and consolidate supporters ahead of the local elections.
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