Former Unification Minister and presidential candidate Chung Dong-young (정동영) left the Democratic Party last week and will run as an independent in an upcoming by-election in Jeonju. Chung gained a bit of a reputation as a North Korean lackey during his tenure in the ministry, and although he finished second in the 2007 presidential elections, was pretty soundly beaten by Lee Myung-bak. Lee earned 48.7% of the votes to Chung's 26.1%.
Chung, a native of Sunchang county, is extremely popular in the Jeolla area, though. In the 2007 election, he earned 78.7% of the votes in Jeollanam-do, compared to Lee Myung-bak's 9.2%. In Jeollabuk-do it was 81.6% to 9%, and in the Jeonju district of Deok-jin---where Chung will be vying for a seat---the score was 80.9% to 8.9%. In Sunchang, he got 90.7% of the votes.