Ruling Saenuri Party Falling Apart with Members Threatening to Leave

Ruling Saenuri Party Falling Apart with Members Threatening to Leave

SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- Two members from the ruling Saenuri Party who belong to the non-Park Geun-hye faction said Monday they will leave the party, claiming the existing leadership failed to properly cope with the influence-peddling scandal surrounding Park and her confidante.

Gyeonggi Gov. Nam Kyung-pil and Rep. Kim Yong-tae of Saenuri said they will officially announce their departure on Tuesday, marking the first secession of key figures since the outbreak of the Choi Soon-sil scandal.

The non-Park faction of Saenuri has been claiming that party leadership, including its chief Lee Jung-hyun, must step down from their posts in response to the public's escalating anger towards the Park administration.

The president's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low in the wake of the scandal.

Political pundits said the latest move made may lead to an exodus of party members amid rising tension with Park loyalists like Lee.

In a separate move, lawmakers of the non-Park faction also handed in a proposal to party headquarters demanding the expulsion of the president from Saenuri, claiming her membership should be forfeited.

The lawmakers claimed Park has violated the party law and ethical codes, which is hurting Saenuri.

Under party rules any motion to eject a critical member requires the approval of the supreme council which is controlled by the pro-Park faction.'

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