Ruling, opposition parties name new floor leadersUpdated: 2014-05-09 06:27:55 (KST)
The ruling Saenuri Party's new floor leader Lee Wan-koo is a three-term lawmaker from the central Chungcheong region.
He's the first from the region to be elected party floor leader and is known to be a member of the faction close to President Park Geun-hye.
His running mate Joo Ho-young, who was named the party's new policy committee chair is part of a different faction, but from the party stronghold of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
The duo faced zero competition as the only candidates who applied, and were appointed without a vote on Thursday.
Analysts say a consensus was formed within the party to endorse the Lee-Joo team, for a more balanced representation of various party factions.
The opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy elected the first female floor leader in Korea's constitutional history.
Three-term lawmaker Park Young-sun, who came out the winner after a run-off, is thought to have garnered support from the party's newest faction, including the current co-leaders, as well as hard-line junior lawmakers.
Park's electoral victory comes two months after the former Democratic Party merged with independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo's camp.
Her political fame and hard-line stance are expected to add vigor to the newly-formed party.
Both new floor leaders face the tough task of negotiating when and how to carry out a parliamentary probe into last month's Sewol-ho ferry disaster and the government's response.
Lee of the ruling party, said it may be too early for parliament to investigate the accident, as the priority now is to find all of the missing passengers.
He also vowed to work closely with the opposition on national safety.
The opposition's Park, on the other hand, said she will push for an immediate investigation, adding that she'll openly cooperate with the ruling side, but also keep it in check, on behalf of the people.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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