Park's Old Party Manages to Save Face

Su Jin Jang, May 10, 2017, 9:32 a.m.

Feelings were mixed in the Liberty Korea Party on Tuesday night when it became clear that its candidate Hong Joon-pyo trailed frontrunner Moon Jae-in by over 15 percent. Moon was elected president with 41.1 percent of the votes, but Hong came an unexpected second with 24.03 percent despite the taint of coming from disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye's party. Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party, not long ago the great white hope of supporters of political reform, came a sorry third with 21.41 percent.

The LKP not only rallied older voters, many of whom refused to accept that Park has done anything wrong, but also managed to galvanize some of its traditional stronghold in the Gyeongsang provinces, where Hong secured a narrow lead.

A party spokesman said, "We've been able to save face after all, and that'll give us the momentum to restore the party."

Hong told reporters as he conceded that he "is satisfied to pull his party together" in this tumultuous time after Park"s impeachment.

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