‘Kingmaker’ Kim to serve as election nomination chief of new party

Kim Chong-in, a veteran politician nicknamed a "kingmaker" for his ability to engineer election victories, has agreed to serve as chief of the nomination committee of a new party led by former ruling party leader Lee Jun-seok. Lee made the announcement during a meeting of his New Reform Party on Friday, saying Kim has led election victories for both of South Korea's two rival parties and will have full mandate over the new party's candidate nominations for April's general elections. "He knows how to make election nominations in a way that leads to victory," Lee said. "We trust that and decided to entrust him with the big role of managing election nominations." Kim, 83, is also a political mentor for Lee. Up until Friday, Kim had been reported to be negative about joining Lee's party, and Lee said he believes Kim changed his mind because he wanted the new party to be an alternative to the incompetent main opposition party. Lee said the nomination committee will be formed as early as this weekend. Lee al so said Kim is expected to provide insights when the party formulates various reform policies, such as pension and health care reforms.