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Clearer direction for MDP convention

Posted July. 10, 2000 01:28,   


On occasion of the dinner meeting at Chong Wa Dae on July 7, a clearer direction has been achieved for the upcoming national convention of the New Millennium Democratic Party scheduled on August 30. Through various statements, President Kim Dae-Jung hinted at the direction where the leadership would go after the national convention as well as at the question of a successor.

As for the high-level committee members in the party, President Kim stated that the current members would serve for the convention and there would not be a necessity of forming a special representative system for the national convention. The president`s comments revealed his position that he would keep the current ¡°neutral system¡± or ¡°management system.¡± In an indirect manner, President Kim warned the candidates should not be too concerned with the number of votes.

President Kim`s comments can be seen as an attempt to alleviate and cut-off the disorder and overheated competition, which may surface as the convention draws near.

If predictions can be made through President`s various comments, there is a great likelihood of Suh Young-Hoon retaining his position as the representative of the ruling party. Should he not retain his current position, some predict an appointment of a high echelon party member who has no interest in competition for next presidency.

As for the national caucus to handle the party leadership and presidential candidacy, President Kim has suggested January of 2002. Many predict such timetable means that the government must scramble to solidify the relationship with North Korea and solve the pending economic problems in the nation.

Taking these predictions into account, the upcoming August national convention seems more geared toward making a pledge of faith to the current leadership.

However, there is always a possibility that a different direction may be taken by the ruling party. Once the national convention begins, there will be a life-and-death race between various party members. Such being the case, some are questioning whether the hopes of President Kim could be realized.

Youngchan Toon yyc11@donga.com