Go to contents

Ruling MDP¡¯s internal strife apparent

Posted December. 06, 2000 12:55,   


A group of newly-elected National Assemblymen of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) are about to join in calling on close confidants and loyalist subordinates of President Kim Dae-Jung to withdraw from major posts of the party and the presidential staff.

It followed a bombshell statement of Rep. Chung Dong-Young, a member of the party¡¯s Supreme Council, demanding the retreat of another Supreme Council member Kwon Roh-Kap from the frontline of party management. Their likely formal recommendation to President Kim to push Kwon to the sidelines is certain to stir up quite a ripple.

It was the first time since President Kim came to power that any move to push aside the so-called Tonggyo-dong faction including Kwon has been made in public. The move is likely to escalate into a struggle for power within the ruling party prior to a shakeup of the party organization toward the close of the year. Attention is attracted to how the party head, President Kim, will react to the maneuver.

On Dec. 1 Rep. Lee Jae-Joung and 10 other first-term assemblymen had a meeting where they agreed on the need for party secretary general Kim Ok-Doo and floor leader Chung Kyun-Hwan to quit their leadership positions. They also suggested that the party chairman, Rep. Suh Young-Hoon, should leave for an overall renewal of the party.

At the same time, they resolved to recommend that Han Kwang-Ok, chief of the presidential staff, and Namgoong Jin, chief political assistant to the president, leave Chong Wa Dae and return to the party proper. Their consensus opted for strengthening responsible party politics by placing an increased number of party members in Cabinet posts to be reshuffled.

The freshmen parliamentarians are soon to prepare a written recommendation for an overhaul of the party to be transmitted to President Kim.