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Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon elected Democratic Party floor leader

Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon (Yonhap)
Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon (Yonhap)

Ruling Democratic Party of Korea on Thursday elected Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon as its new floor leader to head the party which secured an absolute majority in parliament amid a stack of pressing issues involving the economy dampened by the coronavirus pandemic awaiting to be solved.

In his second attempt, four-term lawmaker Kim succeeded to take the position by defeating two other candidates Rep. Jeon Hae-cheol and Rep. Jung Sung-ho. He received 82 votes out of 163.

“I will gather the party together with the leadership of integration and concentrate the capacity of the party, the government and Cheong Wa Dae to overcome the (COVID-19 pandemic) crisis,” he said in a speech after the voting at the National Assembly.

He will be leading as many as 177 lawmakers in the 300-member National Assembly -- 163 belong to Democratic Party and other 14 belong to its affiliate smaller party that will soon to merge with the parent group.

The 56-year-old lawmaker will replace outgoing Rep. Lee In-young, with whom he vied to become floor leader last year.

The new floor leader will face the task of backing up the liberal government in its fourth year in close communication with Cheong Wa Dae and the government, while seeking ways to counter the negative impact of COVID-19 on the country’s exports, manufacturing activities and domestic spending.

Party Chairman Lee Hae-chan stressed the importance of the first year of the 21st National Assembly to generate concrete outcomes that benefit citizens.

“Whether the Republic of Korea overcomes the national crisis and emerges as a world’s leading country depends on the shoulders of the new floor leader,” Lee said.

By Park Han-na (