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“President Kim Should Declare His Preferred Candidate”

“President Kim Should Declare His Preferred Candidate”

Posted April. 10, 2002 09:08,   


Candidate Rhee In-Je of the Millennium Democratic Party (DMP) urged President Kim to declare his preferred candidate on April 9 saying, "Since President Kim Dae-Jung said in various occasions that he would publicly declare who he supports, now is the time to do so, for it keeps his promise with people." Candidate Rhee urged so at regional party chart speech and follow-up talks with reporters, saying, "President Kim should say so if he supports candidate Roh Moo-Hyun, I will not protest it at all." This is the first time candidate Rhee directly mentioned President Kim in public places to urge him his preferred candidate, which would in turn flare up the controversies over interference of "Kim`s mind" in the MDP presidential primary race.

But candidate Rhee added, "The incumbent president should not have interest in who would be the nominee, as a new presidential era opens when former president returns to a citizen after his tenure ends."

He said also, "The opposition party, when it prepares itself and decides its nominee, will doubtlessly attack candidate Roh as a puppet staged by President Kim and Honam province," claiming "If a candidate born in Youngnam receive 90 percent support from Honam, anti-DJ and anti-Honam mentality will revive and new regionalism of a Youngnam born candidate will perish."

Secretary general of the Young Leaders` Federation for New Politics in the New Era (YonCheong), Hwang Chang-Ju, denied the claim of its race interference made by the camp of candidate Rhee saying, "YonCheong is determined to take a neutral position, and once instructed affiliated organizations to keep strict neutral on primary race through official documents," and "Saying YonCheong interfered in the race is slanderous."

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com