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Joint Presidential Candidate of Ruling Coalition Gains More Support, Stirring Presidential Election Strategies

Joint Presidential Candidate of Ruling Coalition Gains More Support, Stirring Presidential Election Strategies

Posted August. 14, 2001 10:31,   


As the discussion about the joint presidential candidate of the ruling coalition including the New Millennium Democratic Party, the United Liberal Democrats, and the Democratic People`s Party has gained more and more support, the competitive strategies of the NMDP`s candidates might be shaken from the roots.

Particularly, Kim Yoon-Hwan, the chairperson of DPP, asserted that NMDP must not set for the election process. The political circle guesses that a tacit agreement about `the joint candidate of the three parties` among President Kim Dae-Jung, honorary president of UDP Kim Jong-Phil, and chairperson of DPP Kim Yoon-Hwan.

Rep. Park Sang-Kyu, the secretary general of NMDP, also said at the press conference yesterday that ``even when the three coalition parties fail to reach a merge agreement, [the joint presidential candidate] could be discussed as a cooperation of the ruling coalition.`` ,declaring that the party is seriously considering the joint presidential candidate theory raised by the acting president of ULD, Kim Jong-Ho, and the chairperson of DPP Kim Yoon Hwan.

A high official of the ruling side hinted a tectonic reshape of the presidential election between the end of the general session of the National Assembly and the local election in June next year, saying that ``the presidential election strategy of the ruling and the opposing parties will be restructured by the rise of the joint presidential candidate accompanied with the political reformation movement.``

However, the three parties have had difficulties to compromise such issues as what would come before, merge or joint candidate? When will they merge, before or after the local election? When they agreed to select a joint candidate, should each party go through the competitive election process, in addition to their various inner problems?

Furthermore, chairperson Kim Yoon-Hwan demands the joint candidate as `a third Yongnam candidate`. LDP also raises the joint candidate theory with a presupposition of `JP as a presidential candidate`. LDP argues that the NMDP has a kind of responsibility to help the LDP in the next presidential election. Therefore, the joint candidate might ended up with a rhetoric.

The potential runners for the presidential election including Rep. Rhee In-Jae, the supreme member of NMDP supreme council, perceives the joint candidate theory with suspicion and some of them expressed rejections to the plan. The controversies about the joint presidential election may be a detonator of the political situation in the future.

Kim Chang-Hyuk chang@donga.com