South Korea’s opposition plans to elect former presidential candidate Lee as new party leader

South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party (DP) plans to elect former presidential candidate Lee Jae Myung as the party’s new leader at a national convention this Sunday.

Lee would thus assume the party leadership and lead the fight against conservative Chairman Yoon Suk Yeol. He would have to make the Democratic Party recover after defeats in the presidential and local elections, Yonhap news agency reports.

Lee has thus vowed to fight against the “mistakes” of the Yoon administration. Since taking office in May, Yoon has seen his support rating fall to among the lowest of any South Korean president for his policy mistakes. These include the plan for the police office and unpopular measures such as lowering the school entrance age.

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Lee has previously served as mayor of Seongnam, in southern Seoul, and as governor of South Korea’s most populous province. He has also been under a cloud of suspicion due to a real estate speculation scandal that occurred while he was mayor. Lee has denied any wrongdoing, while several people close to him have faced a police investigation, Bloomberg has reported.

The candidate faces the incumbent after he narrowly lost in a hotly contested presidential election. Since winning a seat as a lawmaker in the June by-election, Lee has been the frontrunner in the DP leadership race, winning nearly 80 percent of the vote in the primary election.

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This DP leadership race pits Lee against only lawmaker Park Yong Jin, who has so far won only 22 percent of the vote. Legislator Kang Hoon Sik withdrew from the race in early August.

The Democratic Party has been without a chairman since March, due to a mass resignation of previous leaders over the party’s defeat in the presidential election.

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