SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Monday appointed a left-leaning civic group leader to head a special innovation committee aimed to turn around the party's image worsened by a slew of scandals.
DP leader Lee Jae-myung announced the decision during a party leadership meeting and nominated Lee Rae-kyung, the honorary chair of The Tomorrow, a progressive civic group, as the head of the newly formed committee.
"We decided to bring Lee Rae-kyung as the person responsible of leading the DP's innovation committee," he said, adding he plans to entrust all of the decision making related to the new organization onto Lee.
Lee is a career civil activist who served leadership positions in various left-leaning civic groups.
He was also involved in the establishment of a new party with Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo in 2014.
The innovation committee comes amid mounting calls for party reform, following a series of scandals, including a cash-for-vote campaign involving former party leader Song Young-gil and a cryptocurrency scandal involving Rep. Kim Nam-kuk.
Following such scandals, the DP had pledged last month to form an organization for party reform.
Critics raised concerns over Lee's appointment, pointing out his past remarks seen as anti-American and left-leaning, such as a claim that North Korea's 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan was fabricated.
The DP's top spokesperson dispelled such concerns, saying they came when Lee was not entitled to any role within the party and that he will be able to control his language once the innovation committee kicks off.
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