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Lee, Roh Try Hard to Win Public Confidence

Posted June. 20, 2002 23:04,   


After the crushing defeat in last week`s local election, Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millenium Democratic Party (MDP), is trying to set out his "Roh Moo-hyun Program" in order to win back public confidence. Meanwhile Lee, Hoi-chang, Roh`s counterpart in the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) is also out to expand his support base to grassroots.

∇ Classes= Both presidential candidates are targeting each other`s major support bases.

In an attempt to overcome his fixed image as a blue blood, Lee has visited marketplaces and orphanages wearing a jumper and focused on convincing the working class people that he is on their side. His strategy is not just transforming his style but also conveying to the public his policy agenda in favor of them.

Roh is going beyond the heretofore strategy to rally the reformist force and moving to embrace the middle class and conservatives. As part of this strategy, Roh paid a visit to Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan and is now promoting talks with leaders in the business sector, which has given little support for Roh.

▽Ages= Both presidential candidates are bending over backwards to obtain support from people in their 40s, who have the "casting vote". Lee`s strategy is to target people in their 20s and 30s while maintaining his edge over Roh during those in their 40s.

Meanwhile Roh is trying to gain support from those in their 40s while maintaining his edge during those in their 20s and 30s. Roh is planning to stick to his reformist line and to highlight his stable image.

▽Regions= the GNP plans to maintain its momentum gained in the local elections in which the party dominated seats in the Chungcheong region.

On the other hand, the MDP is trying to improve the approval rating in the Busan and Gyeongnam region by reshaping the party centered around Roh. At the same time the party is planning to gain support from reform-minded voters in the Metropolitan area.

Roh is expected to join hands with Rhee In-je, whose strong hold is the Chungcheong region in order to win the public approval in the region.

▽Ideology= Lee is trying to bring moderate-reformist force into his fold based on conservatives. As part of this bid, he is embracing reformists in the party including Kim Duk-ryong, Hong Sa-duk and Lee, Boo-young.

The MDP is seeking to form an alliance with the United Liberal Democrats and to recruit influential politicians from outside.

Young-Chan Yoon Yeon-Wook Jung yyc11@donga.com jyw11@donga.com