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(LEAD Opposition bloc begins work on new coalition party

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo began work Monday to lay the groundwork for a united coalition party amid growing criticism from the ruling party. DP leader Kim Han-gil and entrepreneur-turned-politician Ahn announced Sunday that they would create a new party to challenge the ruling Saenuri Party, a surprise move that upended the political landscape ahead of nationwide local elections in June. Kim and Ahn also said they will aim for a transfer of power at the next presidential election in 2017.

Ahn asks opposition leader not to nominate local election candidates

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- Independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo asked the chief of the main opposition party Thursday to join him in abolishing a controversial nomination system for local election candidates, despite the ruling party's decision to keep it against its own presidential campaign pledge.

Ahn's party not to nominate local election candidates

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- Maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo announced Monday his soon-to-be party will not nominate candidates for mayors, county chiefs, ward chiefs and local council members ahead of the June local elections, throwing down the gauntlet to rival political parties. Debate has heated up over whether the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party should nominate candidates for the jobs amid controversy over the pros and cons of the nomination system.

Ahn lays out blueprint for new party

SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- Maverick lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo on Tuesday announced a blueprint for his new political party to be launched next month, offering a set of visions for the economy, welfare and politics. Interest in Ahn has grown further since the independent lawmaker announced that he would establish a new party in March and field candidates for the nationwide local elections in June. Recent surveys have shown that the new party could pose a challenge to the main opposition Democratic Party amid dwindling public support for the No. 1. opposition bloc.

Opposition leader, Ahn to meet this week

SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Yonhap) -- Top opposition leader Kim Han-gil and popular independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo will meet later this week to discuss a joint response to the ruling party's move to keep a controversial party nomination system for local elections, both sides said Wednesday. Kim of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and Ahn will meet on Friday amid growing media interest in whether the two sides will form an alliance ahead of nationwide local elections in June.

Maverick lawmaker Ahn to form new party in March

JEJU/SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- Popular independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo said Tuesday he will launch a new political party in March to field candidates in the nationwide local elections in June. The new party is widely expected to pose a serious challenge to the ruling and main opposition parties amid growing public disenchantment with the political establishment.

Maverick lawmaker Ahn to form new party in March

JEJU/SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- Popular independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo said Tuesday he will launch a new political party in March to field candidates in the nationwide local elections in June. The new party is widely expected to pose a serious challenge to the ruling and main opposition parties amid growing public disenchantment with the political establishment.

Ahn calls for ban on party nomination of local election candidates

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Popular independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo slammed the ruling party Sunday for backtracking from its pledge to ban parties from nominating candidates for local elections. The star lawmaker, who is setting up his own party, made his pitch amid heated debate on whether to deprive parties of the right to nominate candidates for municipal mayor and councils in the run-up to local elections in June. The ban is intended to eliminate corrupt links between those wanting nomination and the party, often through exchange of bribes.

Ahn names co-leaders of 'new politics' committee

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- Independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo on Sunday named four co-leaders of a committee that is charged with preparations to launch a new political party of his own that could change the landscape of South Korea's largely two-party politics. The four co-chairmen of Ahn's so-called "new politics" committee are former science minister Park Ho-koon, former lawmakers Kim Hyo-seuk and Lee Kye-ahn, and Yoon Jang-hyun, a medical doctor and civic activist based in the opposition stronghold city of Gwangju.

Maverick lawmaker Ahn announces creation of new political force

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- Independent lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo on Thursday announced the creation of a new political force in a move challenging the troubled political establishment. Ahn, a former antivirus software mogul, has long been a focus of media attention due to his immense popularity among young and liberal voters ahead of last December's presidential election.
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