Lee Jun-seok and Yang Hyang-ja Announce Party Merger in Seoul Ahead of Elections

SEOUL — In a significant development in South Korean politics, former ruling party leader Lee Jun-seok and independent lawmaker Yang Hyang-ja have agreed to merge their respective parties in anticipation of the upcoming general elections in April. This decision, announced on Wednesday, marks a notable shift in the country's political landscape as the elections approach.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Lee, who departed the People Power Party (PPP) last month to form the Reformative Conservative Party, and Yang, who left the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) in 2021 to establish the Hope of Korea party last year, have found common ground in their political visions and values. "We agree with each other's vision and values... and here today, we announce a merger," Yang stated during the press conference.

Lee emphasized the shared goals of their parties and expressed their commitment to carrying out political activities jointly. The two parties, both of which use orange as their party color, plan to complete the necessary procedures for the merger as soon as possible. This union is observed as a strategic move to consolidate their political influence ahead of the parliamentary elections.

The formation and merging of new political parties have been closely monitored by political watchers, especially in the context of the so-called 'big tent' strategy, which seeks to unite various political factions. In a related development, Lee Nak-yon, a former prime minister, has also left the DP and announced his intention to launch a new party, potentially merging with another new party envisioned by three lawmakers who have also departed from the DP.

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