File - In this Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waves after speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for his successor, Antonio Guterres, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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If Ban joined the new party, it would give him a conservative platform while distancing himself from the ruling Saenuri Party of President Park Geun-hye, which has become tainted by a corruption scandal that led to a parliamentary impeachment vote against her this month.The 29 lawmakers defecting from her party were among those who supported the parliamentary motion to impeach her over the influence-peddling scandal, which was passed overwhelmingly on Dec. 9 .Some analysts expect the new party to become the country's main conservative force and further defections to it from Park's party are likely, especially if Ban joins.Ban, 72, has not declared an intention to run for president, only saying he would devote himself to the country after his tenure ends this month after 10 years."We have no comment on the latest political developments in the Republic of Korea," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday.Nevertheless, he had until recently been widely expected to run for the top job as a member of Park's party.
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