(ATTN: UPDATES with former finance minister's plan to create party, details in paras 9-11)
SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- Lee Nak-yon, a former ruling Democratic Party (DP) chief who was defeated in the party's primary for the 2022 presidential election, pledged Sunday to join forces with Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung, its candidate, to help his election campaign.
His position was closely watched as a key element in the liberal DP's push for a so-called one team in the election fight against the conservative opposition People Power Party.
Meeting with the governor at a teahouse in central Seoul, Lee read out a statement in front of reporters that he will add "strength" for the success of the Moon Jae-in administration and the DP's election win.
He appealed to DP members and supporters not to abandon efforts to protect the spirit and value of the party although they "may have various thoughts."
He even stepped down from his job as lawmaker for the primary but lost to the governor in the monthslong primary that ended Oct. 10.
Many of his supporters are widely viewed as having a negative sentiment to the governor.
Their meeting is expected to accelerate the move to launch the DP's presidential election task force. The former DP head plans to assume the role of "standing adviser" at the camp.
The governor has decided to resign from his current post at the provincial government this week for a full-scale election campaign.
Also drawing attention is when he will meet with Moon.
Meanwhile, a former finance minister, Kim Dong-yeon, who declared his presidential bid, announced a plan to create a political party, named New Wave. He said he will seek "a politics transition" beyond a power transition.
Kim, a longtime bureaucrat, was the Moon government's first finance minister.
Moon's single five-year term is to finish in May next year, with the election to pick his successor scheduled to take place two months earlier.