Two Democratic Party Lawmakers Decline to Join New Party Formed by Lee Nak-yon”New Future” Party Launched by Democratic Party Defectors Ahead of South Korean Elections

SEOUL — In a recent development ahead of the April 10 parliamentary elections, two lawmakers from the Democratic Party (DP), Reps. Cho Eung-chon and Lee Won-wook, announced their decision not to affiliate with a new party being established by former DP leader Lee Nak-yon.

According to Yonhap News Agency, their decision was made in the interest of "greater integration," signaling a strategic choice amidst a politically charged atmosphere.

This announcement comes as the new party, spearheaded by Lee Nak-yon, aims to attract members dissatisfied with the current leadership of the DP under Chairman Lee Jae-myung. The departures of Cho and Lee from the DP were motivated by criticisms of Lee Jae-myung's leadership style and the anticipation of challenges in securing party nominations for the upcoming elections.

With Cho and Lee opting out, only Rep. Kim Jong-min, another DP member who left the main opposition party, is expected to join Lee Nak-yon's new political entity. Their exits have sparked speculation about potential further departures from the DP, particularly among sitting lawmakers, and raised questions about the impact these movements will have on the party's performance in the imminent parliamentary elections.

Park Won-suk, a former lawmaker involved in the new party's formation, outlined the party's focus on policies catering to the middle-income class and national interests, indicating a strategic positioning to differentiate from the DP's current trajectory.

SEOUL — A new political entity, the "New Future" party, spearheaded by former members of South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party (DP), officially commenced operations on Sunday, introducing a fresh dynamic into the political landscape with the April 10 parliamentary elections on the horizon.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the formation of the new party represents a significant shift in the opposition's strategy, coming as a result of a merger between factions led by ex-DP leader Lee Nak-yon and lawmakers Reps. Cho Eung-chon, Lee Won-wook, and Kim Jong-min. However, Cho and Lee Won-wook opted out of the merger last minute, citing concerns over what they perceived as a "merger by absorption."

The inauguration ceremony, held at the National Assembly, saw Lee Nak-yon and Kim Jong-min unveiled as co-leaders of the "New Future" party. Lee Nak-yon, in his acceptance speech, positioned the party as a critical voice against the current Yoon Suk Yeol administration, which he described as "unstable in every way," and pledged to offer an alternative to the DP, which he criticized for being "trapped in the swamp of corruption and immorality."

The departure of Reps. Cho, Lee, and Kim from the DP was fueled by their criticism of the party's leadership under Chairman Lee Jae-myung and concerns over their prospects in securing party nominations for the forthcoming elections. These developments have sparked speculation about potential further exits from the DP, particularly among sitting lawmakers, and the potential impact on the electoral outcomes.

Park Won-suk, a former lawmaker involved in the new party's formation, outlined the "New Future" party's commitment to advocating for policies that support the middle-income class and prioritize national interests, signaling a clear policy direction as the party gears up for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

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