Seoul, Dec 23: A new conservative party in South Korea, which will be composed of defectors from the ruling Saenuri Party, will be launched mid-January, officials said on Friday.
Representative Hwang Young-cheol of the Saenuri Party, who is one of 35 legislators having decided to bolt from the party, said in a televised press briefing that the group defection will be made on December 27 and the new party would be launched around January 20, Xinhua news agency reported.
The governing party is expected to be cut in half given that nearly half of 128 Saenuri lawmakers voted on December 9 for the bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye.
Additional Saenuri legislators are forecast to join the new conservative party, tentatively named "New Conservative Party of Reformists", when it is formally launched next month.
Hwang, who has served as the anti-Park faction's spokesman, said that the new party will be registered as one of floor negotiation bodies in the parliament as it meets the requirement to have over 20 legislators.
Floor leader of the new party will be selected next week after completing the registration process, Hwang added.
The division in the governing party is expected to change the domestic political atmosphere and influence an early presidential election after the impeachment of the scandal-hit president.
The constitutional court has up to 180 days to deliberate on whether to permanently remove Park from office, but the court is forecast to bring forward the deliberation given that two of the court's nine justices are scheduled to retire in early next year.