Two former and incumbent senior lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties announced on Sunday that they will not run in next year’s general elections, stirring up controversy in the political circle. Those lawmakers include Kim Se-yeon, 47, three-term lawmaker of the Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the leader of the main opposition party’s think tank, and Im Jong-seok, 53, former Chief of Staff for President Moon Jae-in. With influential lawmakers making an announcement of leave five months prior to the parliamentary elections, there seems to be growing calls for change of generation in the ruling and opposition parties.
Rep. Kim held an emergency press conference at the National Assembly and became the first three-term lawmaker from the LKP to announce his leave at the upcoming elections. He also urged all members of the LKP including the party leadership to announce their leave at the election and called for the dissolution of his party. “The presence of the LKP itself is harm to the history and it is a zombie that has lost its vitality,” said Kim. “As destruction is necessary for creation, the LKP should dissolve the party once and for all and start from square one.” The party leadership, including LKP Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn was not aware of Kim’s announcement.
Former Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok wrote on his Facebook account that he intends to leave institutional politics and go back to his original position, adding that he hopes to focus on a campaign for reunification. Im’s announcement to leave political life comes as a surprise as he was expected to run for office in Jongno and was considered as a candidate for Unification Minister. Im will reportedly lead civil campaign for reunification with the help of the Inter-Korean Economic and Cultural Cooperation Foundation, where he served as chief. One of his associates confirmed that Im will not run for elections, let alone join the Cabinet.
Ji-Hyun Kim firstname.lastname@example.org · Dong-Joo Cho email@example.com