Three-term lawmaker Hong Ik-pyo (56, photo), a pro-Lee Jae-myung member, was elected as the new floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea. Hong won more votes than lawmakers Nam In-soon and Kim Min-seok (in order of votes) through a runoff vote at the Democratic Party's general meeting held at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
In his acceptance speech, Hong emphasized remaining united to support Lee. “We will become one team and gain momentum to win next year’s general elections together with Lee,” he said.
The by-election was held when former Floor Leader Park Gwang-on (not a Lee supporter) resigned after being criticized for the party’s actions on the passage of the motion for Lee’s arrest. Hong had lost to Park vying for the floor leader position in April but won the position this time.
On the same day, Lee attended the warrant examination held at court. If he is arrested, Hong will assume authority as party leader in accordance with the Democratic Party's constitution and rules. “I am confident that (Lee’s arrest warrant) will be dismissed, and the party is strongly determined to fight back,” Hong told reporters after the elections. “If the warrant is dismissed tomorrow, I will meet Lee to discuss overall plans for party operation and prepare for next year’s general elections.”