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`Conspiracy Theory,` MDP Primary Faces Turbulence

Posted March. 25, 2002 09:44,   


Rep. Rhee In-Je, a presidential hopeful of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), officially raised the issue of `conspiracy theory` that there is a plot behind his opponent Roh Moo-Hyun`s upsurge in South Chungcheong Province primary, which was held in Chonan on Saturday. The MDP`s primary faces a turbulence. Because there is a rumor that Rhee`s side is considering a `critical decision,` which includes Rhee`s resign, the MDP is worried about the possibility of a catastrophic end of the primary itself.

Regarding the critical decision, Rhee said that, “The President`s aids should not control the primary race. I will see,”at a meeting with reporters just after Saturday primary. However, Rhee said, “Unless there is an evidence that someone ordered a reorganization of the political circle, I will not break the primary race.”

Rhee did not mention anything about the conspiracy theory in Gangwon Province primary, which was held in Chuncheon on Sunday.

Criticizing Rhee`s conspiracy theory, Roh insisted that, “The conspiracy theory is disrespect of Gwangju citizens and defiles the people who expect a political reform,¡° during his campaign in Chuncheon, yesterday. “Even if the Grand National Party`s (GNP) raising this issue should be refuted, why one of our candidates tries to ruin our party,” he continued.

Calling upon Rhee`s calm down, Roh said, “I have been insisted the reorganization of the political circle since last October.”

Rhee`s side mentioned Park Jie-Won, the president`s special advisor for policy making, and Lim Dong-Won, the president`s special advisor for foreign affairs, national security, and unification, as the behind figures of the conspiracy. Park flatly denied the allegation on Saturday. “After President Kim claimed his detachment from the politics, I never have involved in politics for the success of the President, economy, and nation.” Lim also said that, “I have been kept my principle of the non-involvement into the politics.”

On the other hand, Rep. Nam Kyung-Phil, the Spokesperson of the GNP, argued that, “A section of the MDP contended that the reorganization of the political circle, which Roh insists, is being promoted by the ruling party`s `invisible hand.` It is a very serious matter because it will possibly distort the political map. Cheong Wa Dae and Roh should reveal the truth.”

Young-Chan Yoon yyc11@donga.com