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President Kim Faces Adverse Climate against His Gov`t-Party Re-Organization

President Kim Faces Adverse Climate against His Gov`t-Party Re-Organization

Posted September. 08, 2001 08:54,   


President Kim Dae-Jung now faces a severe adverse climate against his government and party reorganization with a new lineup of Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong and Chairperson of the New Millennium Democratic Party Han Kwang-Ok. The United Liberal Democrats recorded the first expulsion of its own president from the party`s membership and even the members of the ruling NMDP explicitly expressed their protests.

NMDP shows inner party conflicts between the Donggyo-dong circle and the young caucus and between the old and new groups of the Donggyo-dong circle concerning the appointment of the Chairperson of the party.

ULD held an executive committee of the party and the general meeting of the party yesterday and unanimously decided to expel its president Lee Han-Dong from the party. Byun Wung-Jeon, the spokesperson of ULD, clarified the reason of the expulsion, saying ``it is certain that Prime Minister Lee`s decision to stay on his office betrays the will of the party and the people and damages the benefit of the party.``

The Prime Minister became the first one who is expelled from its own party in the Korean political history. Consequently, the number of the ULD lawmakers reduced to 15. However, ULD decided to withhold its request for the dismissal proposition of the Prime Minister.

10 members of Saebyeok 21 (Daybreak 21) of NMDP, which is a caucus of 12 first elected lawmakers, had an emergency meeting yesterday and declared, ``Even though we have demanded the overall reformation of the party and Cheong Wa Dae at the congressional study meetings, executive meetings of the party, and the supreme council meetings, the current situation does not reflect our demand and the party`s request for the reformation.`` In addition, they remarked that ``if the party is controlled by a certain circle or close associates to the President, it would betray the requests for the party`s democratization and the reformation. We will move forward with full measures when the public opinion of the congresspersons and the outcomes of the party`s official meetings are ignored.``

Among them, Reps. Lee Ho-Wung and Kim Seong-Ho said, ``we are ready to resign our membership of the party for this matter. Rep. Jong Bum-Goo who is visiting Japan now expressed the same idea.``

Chairperson Kim Joong-Kwon, however, emphasized the solidarity of the party members, saying that ``individual members may have different evaluation on this matter. However, since the President has made the decision already, all members of the party must strengthen the solidarity of the party and fully support the national administration of the President.``

Kim Chang-Hyuk chang@donga.com