Kim Moo-sung, the six-term lawmaker of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said Friday that he will not run for the general elections in 2020 due to the party's crushing defeat in this week's local elections.
The conservative LKP suffered a humiliating rout in Wednesday's local elections and parliamentary by-elections. It won only two of the 17 big-city mayoral and gubernatorial races and added only one parliamentary seat.
Kim, the former chief of the Saenuri Party, the LKP's predecessor, expressed his intent to not run in the next elections while calling for an integration of divergent conservatives.
|This photo taken on June 15, 2018, shows Kim Moo-sung, the six-term lawmaker of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), announcing that he will not run for the 2020 general elections due to the party`s defeat in the latest local elections. (Yonhap)|
"Before finding fault with who is responsible for the election fiasco, I think that everyone should have time to reflect," Kim said at a meeting of party officials.
"To help build a fresh conservative party, I will put down everything and won't run for the upcoming general elections."
The LKP is still reeling from low public trust following the ouster of conservative President Park Geun-hye in 2017 over a corruption scandal.
In Wednesday's local elections, the party even failed to win some mayoral and gubernatorial races in its traditional strongholds.
Kim, who led the Saenuri Party in 2016, took the helm of nominating candidates for the 2016 general elections.
But his party suffered a severe defeat in the elections, losing a parliamentary majority amid public backlash against factional infighting that came to light during its candidate nomination process.
Kim said Friday that he will devote himself to building a new conservative party.
"The LKP has collapsed as it has failed to embrace new values and changes," Kim said. "We need to reflect on ourselves and sacrifice for the start (of the party's rebirth)," he stressed. (Yonhap)