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Ahn Cheol-soo announced plans to launch a new political party by February next year, before the parliamentary elections in April.
Ahn held a press conference on Monday and said he will show the details of the new party after establishing a preparatory committee in early February next year.
On December 13, Ahn, the former leader of New Politics Alliance of Democracy (NPAD) announced his defection from the party as he had been opposed to the NPAD leader Moon Jae-in’s innovation proposal. He also disclosed his decision to form a new party.
He clarified that he will not band with the NPAD for the election, but kept open to possibilities to band with other former NPAD lawmakers including Rep. Chun Jung-bae, based in the Honam region which consists Jeolla Provinces.
Chun, who left the NPAD earlier this year and is also preparing to form a new party, also expressed his willingness to consider a partnership with Ahn.
A number of NPAD lawmakers quit the party after Ahn’s defection and have been expressed their intention of joining Ahn’s new party.
The NPAD lawmaker Kwon Eun-hee who has been concerned about leaving the party had a meeting with Chun on Thursday. She seems to make a decision by the end of this week.
Moreover, Rep. Kim Han-gil threatened to leave the NPAD unless Moon resigns before the election next year.
“For the last time, I sincerely urge Moon to sacrifice himself as a leader and bring the opposition bloc a victory in next year’s general election. Time is running out and my concerns run deeper,” Kim said on Facebook.
Ahn said the main purpose of the new party is to achieve a change of government. However, there is a firestorm of criticism by experts and the public saying that his move is bringing the division of the opposition.
During a number of defections from the NPAD, Moon expressed his strong intention to take the bull by the horns.
“Division is a path to inevitable defeat. Everyone knows that. Defection and division are not justified regardless of their causes. ... I will show the voters who is on the side of reforms. The voters will not tolerate those who act like reformists,” Moon said.
Hyuna Yeom / firstname.lastname@example.org