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(LEAD) Pro-Yoon lawmaker pulls out of ruling party's chairmanship race

15:42 January 05, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with another PPP lawmaker's chairmanship bid; AMENDS headline)

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- Ruling People Power Party (PPP) Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, a key confidant of President Yoon Suk Yeol, declared Thursday he will not run for an upcoming race to elect a new party leader.

The PPP is set to hold a national convention on March 8 to pick its new leader. Since former PPP chair Lee Jun-seok was ousted in August last year after he was suspended of his party membership over allegations of sexual bribery and an attempted cover-up, the PPP has been led by an emergency leadership committee.

"I decided to willingly accept the opinion and concerns of party members that unnecessary misunderstandings may occur in the case a key presidential confidant enters the leadership," Kweon said.

"Winning the general elections is important for the success of the Yoon Suk Yeol government," he said. "To win, there should not be the slightest misunderstanding, and the party's harmony and unity should be prioritized."

Kweon called on the party's future chair to secure the upper hand in the political landscape and build a setting that will help the PPP win the 2024 general elections. The main opposition currently holds a majority in the 299-seat National Assembly.

So far, four-time PPP Reps. Kim Gi-hyeon and Yoon Sang-hyun have declared their bids for the party leadership.

Other than Kim and Yoon, Reps. Ahn Cheol-soo and Cho Kyoung-tae, as well as former PPP lawmakers Na Kyung-won and Yoo Seong-min, are expected to run.

Ruling People Power Party Rep. Kweon Seong-dong speaks during a press conference at the National Assembly in Seoul on Jan. 5, 2023. (Yonhap)



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