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The New Politics Alliance for Democracy party's former leader Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo bolted from the main opposition party Sunday, further aggravating factional strife and foreshadowing a realignment of the opposition bloc ahead of the parliamentary elections slated for next April. The Korean media expect some 30 members to leave main opposition.
Former leader Ahn Cheol-soo of the major opposition party announced his defection from the party Sunday amid a deepening power struggle with the incumbent leadership just months ahead of the general elections in April.
The defection came after Ahn's negotiations with Moon Jae-in, chairman of New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), over a leadership change fell through.
"I failed to meet the demand to reform and renovate NPAD to make it a reliable party, which the public entrusts with their powers," Ahn said in an ad hoc press conference in the National Assembly.
"I have come to the conclusion that a change and reform is impossible from inside the party," said Ahn, who co-led the main opposition party last year.
If this can't be done within the party, change should be brought about by a strong shock outside the party, the computer mogul-turned-politician said, vowing to "create a political group that can achieve a government change."
"In order for that, I will do everything I can," he added.
Ahn's move likely spells further trouble for the main opposition party ahead of the April 13 elections.
The high-profile defection may result in a stream of similar party desertions from NPAD, leading to a major division in the opposition bloc as the April elections approaches.
We will analyse the impact of his defection from the opposition party on the Korean politics, with Political commentator Jeong-sik Suh.