Reformist lawmaker elected as floor leader of minor leftist party
The minor Unified Progressive Party elected Rep. Sim Sang-jung, a former labor activist, as its new floor leader, party officials said Wednesday, as the faction-ridden party is struggling to revive its image following an election fraud scandal.
The left-wing party, created in a merger of three minor parties in January, won 13 seats in the April general elections, but it has been mired in an internal feud after its mainstream faction was accused of rigging the primary held to pick proportional representative candidates.
With two lawmakers embroiled in the rigging excluded from the vote on Tuesday, seven out of 11 lawmakers unanimously picked the two-term female lawmaker as its new floor leader.
Four others boycotted the meeting to protest the party's decision to exclude Reps. Lee Seok-ki and Kim Jae-yeon, who were expelled from the party's central committee over their role in the election fraud. So far, they have refused to quit the party.
The 53-year-old Sim was one of the party's four co-chairs and belongs to the reformist group that took control of the party leadership after the party's far-left group was hit by the vote rigging allegations. (Yonhap)