All leaders of People’s Party resign after Ahn’s defeat

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All leaders of People’s Party resign after Ahn’s defeat

The leaders of the center-left People’s Party resigned en masse Wednesday, after their candidate’s defeat in the presidential election.

Rep. Park Jie-won announced their resignation during a disbanding ceremony of the campaign office of Ahn Cheol-soo.

Ahn briefly emerged to challenge Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party in the run-up to the election, but ended third with 21.4 percent of the vote.

“I take all responsibility for the election result and step down from the chairmanship,” Park said. “I propose the leadership resign and go forward as a new party.”

He offered his congratulations to President Moon and thanked the people for voting for government change after 10 years of conservative rule.

“The People’s Party will contribute to resolving the pile of pending issues from the difficult economy to foreign affairs and national security,” Park said.

“Also,” he added, “we will be true to the instinct of an opposition party.”

Ahn, presidential candidate of the People’s Party, vowed Wednesday to learn from his defeat in the presidential election and work harder to build a better future for the nation.

Ahn made the remarks during the disbanding ceremony of his campaign office, saying he will not be disheartened by his election loss a day earlier.

“I will work harder to use my experience of defeat and turn it into an asset for the future and change of the Republic of Korea,” he said. “I was happy to be together with (the nation’s) great people.”

After thanking his campaign officials and volunteers, he added, “I fell short. I was unable to fully realize the people’s desire for change and the future in this presidential election.”

It was Ahn’s second bid for the presidency after he quit the last race in 2012 to back Moon, who then lost to Park Geun-hye, the former president ousted for corruption in March.

Ahn, a former doctor and businessman, offered his congratulations to President Moon, saying he hopes the new leader will work for national unity, reform and a better future.

He also praised the people for their peaceful protests that led to the impeachment of Park and for allowing both conservative and liberal voices to be heard during the election campaign.

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