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Opposition leader Lee to head his party's new committee on public welfare

Democratic Party Chair Rep. Lee Jae-myung speaks during a party meeting on Friday (Yonhap)
Democratic Party Chair Rep. Lee Jae-myung speaks during a party meeting on Friday (Yonhap)

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Rep. Lee Jae-myung, plans to head the party's new committee on enhancing public welfare, party officials said Sunday.

The move is understood to indicate Lee's resolve to focus on seeking ways to improve the people's livelihoods amid controversies over whether it is appropriate to keep his post in the face of widening probes by state prosecutors into allegations that he took bribes from a football club and committed other wrongdoings in connection with a large-scale local land development project while serving as Seongnam mayor in the 2010s.

During his press conference for the new year last week, Lee announced a plan to establish the "basic society committee" inside the party, pledging to lay out a vision for a future society with state-guaranteed basic income, basic housing and other living standards.

"Lee has decided to take on the chairmanship of the basic society committee," a DP official told Yonhap News Agency.

Lee and his party have been focusing on tackling economic issues facing the people in an apparent effort to shore up public support amid a broadening prosecution investigation into bribery allegations surrounding the party leader.

Party officials said the DP also plans to come up with an "emergency" economic relief plan worth 30 trillion won ($24.15 billion) for the people as proposed by Lee during his New Year's press conference. (Yonhap)