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Main opposition party declares bid for unified conservative bloc in 2020 elections

November 6, 2019

 The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) announced an ambitious bid Wednesday for conservative parties to join forces to seek a win in next year’s general elections.

The party’s leader, Hwang Kyo-ahn, formally proposed the creation of a consultative body to discuss details of a so-called grand conservative integration to challenge the liberal Moon Jae-in government and the ruling Democratic Party.

The LKP’s pursuit was widely expected but the timing of its announcement came at a sensitive time for Hwang’s leadership. He has faced growing internal criticism, especially over his recent attempt to recruit a former four-star Army general, Park Chan-ju, as a potential candidate for the April 15 general elections. A few years earlier, Park and his wife made headlines for allegedly treating soldiers serving at his official residence like “slaves.” Hwang eventually dropped the recruitment plan.

“I am announcing a plan to push for a political integration in earnest with anyone who upholds the constitutional value of free democracy and the market economy,” Hwang told a press conference.

He said relevant details, including a timetable and methods, will be discussed at the envisioned body.

“We need to create a strong political force that can win a clear victory in next year’s elections,” Hwang said.

The LKP is trying to consolidate support from conservative voters.

Hwang said he has contacted Rep. Yoo Seong-min, ex-chief of the minor Bareunmirae Party who leads a fringe group seeking defection for a new party.

The LKP has reached out to the far-right Our Republican Party, which supports former scandal-hit conservative President Park Geun-hye.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, holds a press conference at the National Assembly on Nov. 6, 2019. (Yonhap)

Hwang Kyo-ahn, chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, holds a press conference at the National Assembly on Nov. 6, 2019. (Yonhap)

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