Posted May. 22, 2009 07:14,
Four-term lawmaker Ahn Sang-soo, a confidant of President Lee Myung-bak, was elected yesterday floor leader of the ruling Grand National Party yesterday.
Lawmaker Kim Sung-jo, who is a member of a group supporting former party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, won the chairmanship of the partys policy-making committee in running with Ahn. Ahn gained 95 votes in the final election for the floor leader in the presence of 158 party lawmakers.
Neutral Hwang Woo-yeo and Park supporter and running mate Choi Gyeong-hwan came in second with 62 votes.
In the first round of voting, no candidates earned the majority of votes from registered lawmakers (80 votes), with Ahn and Kim getting 73 votes, Hwang and Choi 47, and Jeong Eui-hwa and Lee Jong-gu 39.
Ahn served as party floor leader in the 2007 presidential election and played a critical role in supporting President Lee as leader of the party committee to fight political maneuvering.
Experts say Ahns victory will allow the ruling party and the presidential office have better communication and speed up passing a disputed media bill expected to bring a huge confrontation in the extraordinary parliamentary session next month.