Presidential chief of staff offers to resign after election defeat

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Presidential chief of staff offers to resign after election defeat

President Lee Myung-bak's chief of staff said Thursday he will resign to take responsibility for the ruling Grand National Party (GNP)'s defeat in a local election, an official said.

"Chung Chung-kil, presidential chief of staff, expressed intent to resign at a meeting of senior aides, holding himself responsible," the official said. "President Lee just listened without comment."

GNP Chairman Chung Mong-joon and other party leaders also had announced they will step down over the election results.

The official, however, said there will not be massive resignations by senior presidential officials.

The GNP garnered six of the 16 mayoral and gubernatorial posts in Wednesday's election, while the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) won seven. The ruling party also lost many of its local council seats.

Voters chose some 4,000 city and provincial leaders, as well as city council members and education boards, but the elections were regarded more as a midterm assessment of the Lee administration and a preview of the 2012 presidential election. [Yonhap]
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