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Calls for change in MDP grow

Posted August. 04, 2000 21:29,   


The ruling Millennium Party has plunged into a deep abyss of internal conflict. Unless the party undergoes drastic reform, there is no relief in sight.

Ahead of the party¡¯s national convention to elect a new leadership, the intra-party crisis and reform are emerging as the most contentious issues. There is rising criticism that the MDP is incapable of fulfilling its mission as the governing party as manifested in a recent series of incidents, including languor and internal feuds sparked in the course of the recent parliamentary upheaval, its easygoing stance toward various social complications and others.

Many critics are unable to read the mind of the supreme leader, and have observed that the ruling MDP is losing its instinct for self-preservation. Rep. Chough Soon-Hyung of the MDP, a party leadership hopeful, asserted in a statement that the current internal crisis stems from the fact that the MDP has failed to properly address various social complications over the past two years. He said this was a result of a lack of judgment and direction from President Kim Dae-Jung, concurrent party leader. He also claimed that the MDP was incapable of fulfilling its roles and functions as the party in power.

Rep. Chough lashed out at party leaders, contending that, in the case of the clothes-for-lobbying scandal, they snowballed the case out of regard for the senior echelon, despite the fact that the matter should have been investigated by a special prosecutor from the beginning.

Rep. Kim Keun-Tae, another hopeful for the party¡¯s top post, said that although members had to obey party leadership during the power transition period and the IMF bailout, now was the time for the party to encourage vigorous debate. He contended that the most serious problem for the present was the party¡¯s virtually unconditional loyalty to its supreme leader.

Kim asserted that the MDP should have fully prepared for the professional separation of roles between doctors and pharmacists while President Kim was visiting Pyongyang for the inter-Korean summit. He noted that the MDP was obsessed with the historic meeting and thus failed to take effective measures to address the medical reform issues.

Another hopeful for the top post claimed that the MDP lacks a personnel management system and said the appointments of government officials were made under the patronage of a few influential figures. This provoked a backlash among party post holders, not to mention misgivings on the part of the general public, he added.