South Korea’s centre-right Bareun Party will vote for a new leader today.
Lee Hye-hoon stood down in September after just three months in the job after she was accused of corruption. The scandal resulted in nine of the party’s 20 lawmakers defecting the main opposition party, Liberty Korea, from which Bareun splintered last December.
With just 11 remaining members, Bareun’s influence in South Korean politics is much diminished; parliamentary rules require a party to have at least 20 lawmakers in order to form a parliamentary negotiating bloc. Along with the political ramifications, the loss of this status means the party’s state funding will be reduced by two-thirds.
On the other hand, the defections give Liberty Korea 116 seats in the National Assembly, which is just five short of President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party.
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Simon is the founder of Foreign Brief who served as managing director from 2015 to 2021. A lawyer by training, Simon has worked as an analyst and adviser in the private sector and government. Simon’s desire to help clients understand global developments in a contextualised way underpinned the establishment of Foreign Brief. This aspiration remains the organisation’s driving principle.