|Lee Nak-yon and Rep. Kim Jong-min, co-leaders of the newly launched New Future Party, pose during the party’s launch ceremony at the National Assembly in Seoul on Feb. 4, 2024./Source: Yonhap
By AsiaToday reporter Joo Young-min
Lee Nak-yon, the former chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, and a group of lawmakers who defected from the DP jointly launched a new political party on Sunday ahead of April’s general elections.
Although the new party raised the flag of integration, internal strife is expected over creating a big tent party with the “New Reform Party,” led by former ruling People Power Party (PPP) leader Lee Jun-seok and “New Choice,” led by former DP Rep. Keum Tae-sup. The new party seems to be stumbling right after its formation, as key figures Cho Eung-cheon and Lee Won-wook did not attend the Sunday’s inauguration event, apparently unhappy about the type of merger.
Initially, the new party’s name was planned to be called the “Future Reform Party” due to integration with the “Grand Future Coalition” formed by DP defectors. However, the party’s name was confirmed as “New Future” after the two sides had disagreements during the negotiations. At the party’s inaugural event held at the National Assembly, Lee Nak-yon and DP-turned-independent Rep. Kim Jong-min were elected as co-leaders of the party.
The new party’s symbolic color was set as “Prussian blue,” which means “to join forces and go the big ocean,” and “light green,” which symbolizes the dynamics of life such as sprouts, trees, and roots.
In the meantime, “The New Reform Party’s leader Lee Jun-seok and Rep. Yang Hyang-ja, “New Choice” leader Keum Tae-sup participated in the party’s inaugural meeting, raising speculation of the establishment of a big tent after the Lunar New Year holidays.