Kim Gi-hyeon elected new leader of South Korean ruling party

Seoul, Mar 8 (EFE).- Parliamentarian Kim Gi-hyeon won Wednesday the leadership of the People’s Power Party (PPP), the ruling formation in South Korea in a victory that strengthens the position of current South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol within the bloc.

Kim, 64, prevailed in the internal elections by gaining 53 percent of the votes of the conservative party to veteran parliamentarian Ahn Cheol-soo, who won 23 percent of votes, former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn with 15 percent, and the lawyer Chun Ha-ram with 9 percent.

His victory is seen as a triumph for President Yoon, as Kim is the candidate for whom the head of state has shown the most support.

More than half of the 837,000 PPP members, a record 55 percent, cast their votes this week to elect a new leader after the party ousted its previous leader Lee Jun-seok from office in 2022 for an alleged plot of prostitution and clientelism.

After a period of several months in which the formation has been led by an interim leadership, Kim will preside over the party between now and 2025 to prevail in legislative elections next year and take control of the National Assembly, currently held by the opposition and liberal Democratic Party.

Another great challenge will be trying to pacify the most pro-Yoon factions of the party and other groups that coexist within the PPP and whose division was exacerbated after Lee’s expulsion.

Kim, a law graduate from Seoul National University, was mayor of the city of Ulsan from 2014 to 2018 and has held seats in parliament for four legislatures. EFE


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