GNP set to elect new floor leader after bitter defeat

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GNP set to elect new floor leader after bitter defeat

The Grand National Party today will elect a new floor leader who will represent the ruling party lawmakers in major negotiations with liberal opposition parties in advance of next April’s general elections.

The new floor leader is also expected to play an important role in revamping the GNP because the current leadership will step down to assume responsibility for last week’s bitter by-election defeats.

Representatives An Kyung-ryul and Lee Byung-suk, both Lee Myung-bak loyalists, have declared their bid to become the next floor leader, indicating that the pro-Lee faction’s votes will be split between them. Representative Hwang Woo-yea, a centrist reformist, has also joined the race.

The GNP will hold a lawmakers’ convention today and listen to the three candidates’ positions. The election will take place in the afternoon.

The three lawmakers made their bids official Tuesday by holding separate press conferences.

An, backed by Lee Jae-oh, the president’s minister without portfolio mostly handling political affairs, said he will reinforce the Lee administration’s centrist pragmatic philosophy and rescue the GNP from its crisis.

“I will restore the people’s trust by making the livelihood economy the party’s top priority,” he said.

Lee Byung-suk promoted his ties with Representative Lee Sang-deuk, older brother of the president, to win the support of Daegu and North Gyeongsang lawmakers. He also stressed that harmony is the key for the GNP to successfully rise from the party’s current crisis, urging party members to end the blame game.

“I will transform the ruling party to take the lead in the relationship with the Blue House,” he said. “We should represent working-class voters, not the establishment.”

Hwang said true reform will be achieved when the GNP’s senior political heavyweights take their hands off party affairs.

“I will put an end to the GNP’s perennial factional strife, which has tainted the nomination process for legislative election [candidates],” Hwang said. “To escape from the disgraceful image of representing only the rich, I will push forward drastic policies friendly to the working class.”

With no pro-Park Geun-hye candidate having joined the race, the sentiment of about 60 Park loyalists has become a decisive factor in the three-way election. Speculation is running high that pro-Park lawmakers will vote for Hwang to check pro-Lee candidates’ control over the party.

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic Party has scheduled its floor leader election for May 13. Representatives Kang Bong-kyun, Kim Jin-pyo and Lew Seon-ho have declared their bids to lead the largest opposition party in the main chamber.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

한나라 오늘 원내대표 경선

한나라당은 6일 국회에서 차기 원내대표 선출을 위한 경선을 실시한다.

이번 선거에는 주류측에서 3선인 안경률ㆍ이병석 의원(가나다順)이, 비주류 측에서 중립 성향의 4선인 황우여 의원이 출마해 3파전으로 전개된다.

특히 당내 주류와 비주류간 치열한 세(勢) 대결 양상을 보이고 있어 한치 앞도 내다볼 수 없는 대접전이 예상된다.

이번 경선에는 친박(친박근혜)계 후보가 출마하지 않아 60명에 달하는 친박계 의원들의 선택이 당락에 영향을 줄지 주목된다.

경선은 오전 후보자 토론회를 한 뒤 오후 정견발표와 투표 순으로 진행되며 과반득표가 나오지 않을 경우 1, 2위를 대상으로 결선 투표를 실시한다.

한나라당은 당초 2일 의원총회를 열어 새 원내대표를 선출할 예정이었으나 당 일각에서 4ㆍ27 재보선 패배와 향후 당의 진로에 대한 토론이 선행돼야 한다는 의견이 제기돼 6일로 연기됐다.

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