Ruling Saenuri Party elects new party leaderUpdated: 2014-07-15 AM 6:43:56 (KST)
The ruling Saenuri Party has a new party leader, Kim Moo-sung, a five-term lawmaker who is considered to be more independent of President Park Geun-hye's influence.
Kim promised a bigger role for the party in governance over the next two years and said he would seek to reset the relationship with the presidential house of Cheong Wa Dae.
"Our Saenuri Party has a clear goal. I will do my best for the success of the Park Geun-hye administration. We must win the next general election and the presidential race. I will make a strong Saenuri Party and a strong Korea."
The newly-elected Kim is expected to move ahead with reforming the party by assessing its problems, improving relations with the opposition bloc and listening to the opinions of the people about how the presidential office is running the country.
Kim beat out Suh Chung-won to become chairman.
Suh is a seven-term lawmaker and a confidant of President Park who had promised to throw the party's full support behind the president.
At the start of the party's convention President Park delivered a keynote address in which she urged everyone to unite under the new party's leadership.
"What I expect from the party and the party members is whole-heartedly working for the people. If we do not pull off the country's reform drive, we will lose the trust of the people."
The first order of business for Kim as the Saenuri's new party leader will be gaining back a majority of parliamentary seats in the upcoming July 30th by-elections.
Pundits also say Kim may use his chairmanship as a springboard to run in the 2017 presidential election.
In addition to Kim's win, four Supreme Council members were also elected.
"The ruling party is one of the key players in national governance together with the presidential office. The party hopes that, with the new leadership in place, it will help revitalize the government and advance political reforms.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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