Former PPP Leader Lee Jun-seok Heads New Reform Party for Upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Seoul

SEOUL– Lee Jun-seok, previously at the helm of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), has been elected as the first chairman of a newly established political party, known as The Reform Party. This development comes as South Korea gears up for the parliamentary elections scheduled in April.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, The Reform Party was formed 24 days after Lee's departure from the PPP, following prolonged disagreements with President Yoon Suk Yeol and his allies within the conservative party. The 38-year-old Harvard alumnus, known for his significant following among young male voters, expressed his commitment to advocating for a range of reform measures with the goal of securing seats in the forthcoming elections.

During the inauguration event at the National Assembly, Lee, donning an orange jumper symbolizing his party's color, emphasized the beginning of a 'real game for reform.' He vowed to persistently call for reform throughout the parliamentary election campaign, aiming to lead his party to victory. Additionally, Lee mentioned his openness to forming alliances with other minor parties, hinting at the possibility of creating a 'big tent' coalition that stands apart from the two major rival parties in South Korea.

Lee's party plans to introduce reform measures in several contentious areas. These include replacing free subway rides for seniors with a system of transportation vouchers and fare discounts, as well as revising the male-only conscription system.

Lee's tenure as the leader of the PPP, from June 2021 to August 2023, ended following his suspension from the party due to allegations of sexual bribery in 2013, leading to his ouster from the post last year.

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