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(profile) Bareun Party's presidential nominee known as aide-turned-critic of Park

2017/03/28 17:18

SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) -- The presidential nominee of the conservative Bareun Party is a four-term lawmaker known for his complicated ties to ousted President Park Geun-hye.

Yoo Seong-min, 59, entered the National Assembly in 2004 on the proportional representation ticket of the conservative Grand National Party.

Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party waves to supporters at a party convention held at Olympic Park in eastern Seoul on March 28, 2017. (Yonhap) Rep. Yoo Seong-min of the Bareun Party waves to supporters at a party convention held at Olympic Park in eastern Seoul on March 28, 2017. (Yonhap)

He served as chief aide to then party chief Park, and in 2007, helped prepare her for the presidential primary against Lee Myung-bak. After Park lost to Lee, the two reportedly grew apart.

In 2015, Yoo was elected floor leader of Park's then-ruling Saenuri Party. By then, he was a three-term lawmaker representing the southeastern city of Daegu, Park's hometown.

He clashed head on with then President Park over her campaign pledge to expand welfare without increasing taxes. Park responded with an angry call for judgment on "politics of betrayal."

   After being sidelined from mainstream politics, Yoo made a comeback as a presidential hopeful in the wake of a corruption scandal that implicated Park and led to her dismissal earlier this month. He was noted as a politician who spoke his mind to the disgraced former leader.

Yoo bolted the Saenuri Party with 32 other lawmakers and formed the Bareun Party.

He is a former economist with a bachelor's degree from Seoul National University and a master's and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

hague@yna.co.kr

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