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 partys national convention in Seouls Jamsil Gymnasium, Ahn won 4,316 (20.3 percent) of the votes from the partys 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 partys supreme council, and besides former party chief Park Geun-hye, Na is the first female lawmaker to join the partys 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 partys 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, Lets unite and take the lead in the campaign to change and reform the Grand National Party.