Rival parties are entering campaign mode for the April 13 general election, launching planning committees following the wrap-up of candidate nominations marred by factional feuds. With just 17 days before the polls, each party has set lofty goals in the parliamentary race. The ruling Saenuri Party aims at securing a majority of seats in the 300 unicameral Assembly, while the Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) is seeking to win 130 seats. The minor opposition People’s Party is expecting 20 seats to form a negotiation body. However, political pundits say that they all face major hurdles in the race, with a number of variables rendering the election highly unpredictable, including a possible alliance of opposition forces. How independent candidates who quit the ruling party after its nomination conflicts will affect voter sentiment also remains a key variable.
The Saenuri Party will launch its election planning committee on Monday, with five co-chairmen leading the nationwide campaign.
They are Kang Bong-kyun, a former finance minister under the liberal Kim Dae-jung government who has recently been recruited as a counterbalance to the MPK’s Kim Chong-in; Chairman Rep. Kim Moo-sung; floor leader Rep. Won Yoo-chul; and Supreme Council members Reps. Suh Chung-won and Rhee In-je.
Following the factional row over nominations that dented the party’s approval rating, it has adjusted its goal from winning 180 seats to 150 plus.
Full Article: Parties gear up for April 13 election.