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S. Korea's minor parties coalesce to form new progressive party


17:16, December 05, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's three minor liberal and left-leaning parties officially announced the establishment of a new political party Monday in a bid to fight off the conservative ruling party in key elections next year.

The Democratic Labor Party, the People's Participatory Party and a faction from the Progressive New Party have coalesced to form the Unified Progressive Party, giving the new party seven seats in the 299-member parliament dominated by the governing Grand National Party.

"The popular belief that divisions would doom alliances among progressives can be debunked today," Lee Jung-hee, the former chairwoman of the leftist Democratic Labor Party, said as she and two other representatives announced the creation of the new party.

The party plans to hold a convention in January to set party nomination rules ahead of the key general election in April, where the party hopes to get at least 20 seats necessary to form a negotiating group.

Meanwhile, the new party has failed to form a united front with the liberal main opposition Democratic Party, which has aligned instead with a separate group consisting of loyalists to late former President Roh Moo-hyun and progressive civic activists.


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