Rep. Lee to join Saenuri Party
A two-term lawmaker of the minor conservative Advancement and Unification Party (AUP) said Wednesday he will defect to the governing Saenuri Party.
Rep. Lee Myoung-su of Asan, South Chungcheong Province said that he made the decision as he has experienced challenges in proposing legislations as an AUP member.
Ten signatures of lawmakers are necessary for a bill to be submitted to the National Assembly, but the AUP has only five lawmakers.
"I have decided to choose a party that can make contributions to the nation as the AUP’s small number of seats is limiting my ability to propose bills,” he said.
The lawmaker noted that other members of the AUP, including Sejong City Mayor Yu Han-sik, will follow suit.
“I am aware that a few heads of local governments in the Chungcheong region will also withdraw their membership from the AUP,” he said.
The defection by Lee will reduce the AUP's seats in the National Assembly to four and boost the Saenuri Party's influence in the minor party’s home turf of the Chungcheong provinces.
The Saenuri Party currently has 148 lawmakers, followed by main opposition Democratic United Party with 128 and minor opposition Unified Progressive Party with 13.