Go to contents

MDP Feud Runs Deeper

Posted July. 31, 2002 22:00,   


Han Hwa-gap, chairman of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) announced that he would establish a new party on the condition of MDP presidential candidate Roh Mu-hyun`s resignation. But as Roh declared that he is not intended to resign before a new party is created, the controversy over Roh`s future course of action is expected to run deeper.

Ron said in a press conference on the 31st, "My future course of action will be decided when I make up my mind on whether or not to join a new party. So I cannot accept the demand that I resign as the presidential nominee before the proposed party is created." He added, "It is true that I and Han discussed the creation of a new party, but no agreement has been made about my resignation or other details."

But Roh said, "I am sympathized with the principles of the creation of a new party. If the proposed party is designed to put the anachronistic politics behind, meet the expectations of the public and be future-oriented, I will join the new party."

He also said, "There will not be a severe friction between Han and me over procedural issues. We will work together with mutual trust. If the situation goes south and if the public wants, I will give up the post of presidential candidate. Otherwise, I cannot decide that way alone."

Earlier, in a meeting with MDP supreme councilors, Han tried to put out the controversy over his demand for Roh`s resignation, saying, "There is no differences in opinions between Roh and me. I just intended to say he is bending over backward to rebuild the party."

Roh and Han is scheduled to meet on Aug. 1 to fine-tune their views on the creation of a new party, which will be the crucial moment for the MDP, which is being mired in the controversy over establishing a new party.

In the meantime, the Coalition for Democratic Reform, which comprises lawmakers advocating Roh, held a meeting the same day and made clear that it would create a new reform party. The coalition said, "Under the current circumstances, it is difficult for the MDP to win the presidential election. Thus, a new party should include reform-minded political figures after the Aug. 8 by- and reelections.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com