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Ahn Sang-soo Elected Ruling Party Chief

Posted July. 15, 2010 13:54,   


Four-time lawmaker Rep. Ahn Sang-soo was elected chairman of the ruling Grand National Party Wednesday for a two-year term.

At the party’s national convention in Seoul’s Jamsil Gymnasium, Ahn won 4,316 (20.3 percent) of the votes from the party’s election members and ordinary citizens, beating runner-up Hong Joon-pyo (3,854 votes or 18.1 percent), also a four-time lawmaker, by 462 votes.

Ahn trailed Hong in a public poll but led by 649 votes among party members thanks to the organized backing of the party faction backing President Lee Myung-bak.

Rep. Na Kyung-won, who ranked first in the public poll (1,530 votes), received 2,882 votes for third place. She thus became a member of the party’s supreme council, and besides former party chief Park Geun-hye, Na is the first female lawmaker to join the party’s leadership through popular vote.

Coming in fourth was Chung Doo-un (2,436 votes) and fifth Suh Byung-soo (1,924), who also joined the leadership. Suh is the lone member of the pro-Park faction to join the supreme council.

At the convention, the final tally was made by calculating a ratio of 7:3 for two votes each cast by the party’s 7,819 election members versus those from the results of a public poll on 3,000 people.

Ahn is a former prosecutor who supervised the case on the death of pro-democracy activist Park Jong-chul, who died after being tortured in the 1980s. Ahn won four straight terms in parliament after entering politics in 1995 in the Uiwang-Gwacheon district of Gyeonggi Province.

In his acceptance speech, Ahn said, “From today, there are no factions backing Lee Myung-bak or Park Geun-hye,” adding, “The Grand National Party will unite and approach the people in the July 28 by-elections.”

Hong said, “As it turned out, an instant fever cannot overcome organization,” adding, “Let’s unite and take the lead in the campaign to change and reform the Grand National Party.”

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