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Internal Dispute Remains Unsettled

Posted June. 21, 2002 23:43,   


The ruling Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) is facing another stumbling block on Friday as senior officials of the party tender their resignation or refuse to do their jobs.

Secretary General Kim Won-gil and spokesman Chung Bum-gu indicated their desire to resign, and Park Byeong-woo, the chairman of the party`s policy making committee refused to manage party affairs criticizing the way of operating the party by a collective leadership system. They are all confidants of party leader, Han Hwa-gap.

They have tendered resignation en masse after the humiliating defeat in last week`s local elections, but their resignation was turned down as the vote of confidence in Roh Moo-hyun, the party`s presidential candidate, and the party leadership was passed.

But Kim, who has refused to go back to his post after he tendered his resignation, said in a statement, "I will take the responsibility for the election rout and will step down."

Chung also said, "Under the current collective leadership system, officeholders cannot work according to their conviction. So I tendered resignation to party chairman, Han Hwa-gap."

Park expressed a similar view, saying, "Unless the supreme council reforms itself, I will not go back to my job."

Party insiders think that their move is an attempt to shift the focus from the supreme council to an election polling committee. Kim hinted even before the local elections that after the local elections, an election polling committee will take helm of the party and all functions of the supreme council will be suspended by Dec. 18.

Non-mainstreamers of the party are criticizing their move. An official from the non-mainstream faction said, "Supreme councilors have already agreed on the early shift to an election polling committee system and empowered the party leader and the presidential candidate. So it is not understandable that the mainstreamers are trying to incapacitate the supreme council."

Young-Chan Yoon yyc11@donga.com