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Rhee In-Je Quit Abruptly

Posted April. 18, 2002 08:59,   


Candidate Rhee In-Je who till now participated in the presidential primary race of the Millennium Democratic Pary (MDP) abruptly announced his withdrawal from the race on April 17.

Accordingly, the MDP primary race narrowed down to a two-way race between Roh Moo-Hyun and Chung Dong-Young, but candidate Roh became de facto party nominee for presidential race since Roh has taken an absolute majority in thirteen regional primaries conducted so far.

Candidates Roh and Chung received 9,702 and 2,240 votes respectively in a total tally of the votes, but the share of votes cast to candidate Roh reached 81.2 percent since the votes of candidate Lee (8,190 votes) are considered null and void.

Candidate Lee declared in a statement addressed to people in the party headquarters located in Yoido, Seoul, `I decided to fold the dream to be a presidential candidate of MDP, ` and `I promise to sacrifice myself to serve as a common party member for the victory of middle-of-the road reform party platform and for the development of our party.`

Rep. Jeon Yong-Hak of candidate Lee camp said, `The candidacy withdrawal of Lee came from the decision that taking further the primary is meaningless,` and `You can take the statement as an admittance of defeat.`

He also answered to a question whether the appointment of Park Jie-Won as the chief presidential secretary by the president was a factor of Lee`s withdrawal, saying, `That could be a factor.`

An associate of candidate Lee said of his future actions, `He has no plan to exit the party or for traveling,` adding, `He will wait for the appropriate time to act while staying in the party.`

Candidate Roh remarked on the withdrawal of candidate Lee, `I am somewhat sorry for not being with him until the end of people`s primary.` Additionally, chief press secretary of the president Park Sun-Suk said, `We hope the primaries of the ruling and opposition parties that introduced to meet the expectation of people for political reform to be held in successful manner,` but added, ` It is not appropriate to mention matters concerning a certain candidate.`

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com