Ahn Cheol-soo and Democratic Party agree to form new partyUpdated: 2014-03-03 22:10:27 (KST)
Following the surprise merger plan announced by the two leaders of main opposition blocks, Democratic Party leader Kim Han-gil and Ahn Cheol-soo of the New Political Vision Party will start touring the nation from Wednesday to prepare the groundwork for the new party.
Both agreed to complete necessary procedures of forming the new party before the June local elections, by jointly setting up a preparatory committee, comprised of five members from each party.
"Both parties aim to push ahead for the creation of the new united party as soon as possible, and to achieve a transfer of power in the presidential election in 2017."
They said the new party will not nominate candidates for local council and ward elections in the upcoming June elections, such as municipal council elections and local district council elections.
The major parties' nomination for local council member elections has long been considered a source of corruption and bribes.
"We decided not to nominate candidates for local wards and local council member elections in the June elections. This decision has been made after pondering what choices would be necessary to achieve the transfer of government in 2017."
The new party will focus on the livelihoods of the people and on establishing a fairer economic system, along with a focus on launching further investigations into the spy agency's meddling in the 2012 presidential election.
However, political insiders say they expect some friction during the merger process.
The announcement of the coalition came as a big surprise, especially considering Ahn Cheol-soo declared just a matter of weeks ago that he would launch his own new political party.
Ahn says he felt reassured about the merger plan, when the DP decided to give up the controversial nomination system.
The DP convened a general meeting of its Assembly members on Monday, to discuss future direction of the coalition.
The ruling Saenuri Party denounced the merger calling it "collusion" that is purely aimed at short-term political gain at the June elections.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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