Ex-PPP leader to run for seat in less conservative Hwaseong city

Lee Jun-seok, leader of the newly launched New Reform Party, said Saturday that he will run for a parliamentary seat representing a constituency in Hwaseong, a metropolitan city near Seoul considered traditionally a liberal stronghold. Lee, a former leader of the ruling conservative People Power Party, made the announcement in a Facebook post that he will run for the constituency that covers Dongtan 2 New Town in the upcoming April 10 elections. "Hwaseong is a difficult area for conservatives and it's like a grave to them, but it is the youngest city that will produce many future growth engines for the Republic of Korea," Lee told Yonhap News over the phone. "This place, where the industries will grow, is where I will have a lot of jobs to do, such as building the infrastructure for education and transport," Lee said. Lee's new party was created in early February through a hasty merger with a group of former Democratic Party members, led by former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, about two months ahead of the elections. But the so-called "big tent" party split only 11 days after the merger, as the two Lees have clashed over who should lead the election campaign and policymaking activities. Lee, 38, is known for becoming the first leader of a major political party as a young politician in his 30s in the country's history. He has run for the parliamentary seat in Seoul's northern district and never won. Source: Yonhap News Agency