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Candidates Lee and Roh Seeking Alliances with Three Kims

Candidates Lee and Roh Seeking Alliances with Three Kims

Posted May. 13, 2002 10:24,   


As a month remains before the local elections on June 13, which would be a preliminary fight for the December presidential election, presidential candidate camps of Lee Hoi-Chang of the Grand National Party (GNP) and Roh Moo-Hyun of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) are searching ways for multi-faceted alliances with "three Kims", including the cooperation in the local elections.

However, since any alliance with three Kims goes against the nominal claim of getting rid of "three Kims` politics", and due to the complex politically dynamic structure of automatically creating friction with other forces when an alliance with any force is forged, both of the two camps are seriously mulling over how to postulate the relations with the three Kims.

GNP and candidate Lee Hoi-Chang: The GNP considers it is inevitable to receive even an implicit cooperation of former president Kim Young-Sam (YS) to secure the credit of Kyoungsang Province voters. For this reason, GNP is actively seeking to improve the relationship with YS side including the visit of candidate Lee Hoi-Chang to the residential house of YS in Sangdo-Dong in a foreseeable future.

Early on, GNP supreme council member Suh Chung-Won who is most likely to be selected as the party chairman has visited the house of YS on May 11 to have a dinner with him.

However, the camp of candidate Lee Hoi-Chang is planning to have a politically independent position toward YS even though it may treat him in a respectful manner as a senior politician since political alliances with YS, including the discussion of party nominees in the local elections, may not necessarily help the party`s voting strategy.

Additionally, candidate Lee set up a double-sided strategy of fighting against the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) and its president Kim Jong-Pil in South Chungcheong local elections even though some policy coordination in the National Assembly is to be pursued.

When President Kim Dae-Jung takes visible measures such as letting the presidential chief of staff Park Jie-Won and director of the National Intelligence Service Shin Kuhn step down, GNP is ready to rein on its offensive against the president.

MDP and candidate Roh Moo-Hyun: Party candidate Roh Moo-Hyun, even though he publicly declared, "There is no differentiation to DJ," considers the current situation serious, in which his popularity is decreased or stagnated as the president`s sons are implicated in scandals, and Roh is rumored to search for alternative formula and active criticism on the mismanagement of DJ regime even though the scope may be limited.

A close staff of candidate Roh camp said, "The decisive reason that the current regime is disfavored by people is its personnel policy," and added, "We will present alternative measures including an institutional reform on the issue."

Additionally, candidate Roh will continue to preach an alliance with YS even though some criticism and negative reactions are raised concerning the request for recommendation of Busan mayoral candidate.

In other hand, MDP is trying to have an alliance with UDP in such a way so that MDP may not present a candidate in Chungcheong Province while UDP supports MDP candidates in the Capital metropolitan region. However, MDP is not actively pursuing the alliance since candidate Roh argued for "political reformation based on policy" and may be criticized for having an unprincipled collusion.

In-Soo Song issong@donga.com yyc11@donga.com