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MDP Lawmakers Announced Defection

Posted October. 16, 2002 22:51,   


As nine lawmakers of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) based in Gyeonggi Province officially announced their defection yesterday, the disintegration of the MDP is looming large.

Nine MDP lawmakers including Lee Yun-su and Park Jong-gyu held a meeting yesterday and agreed to leave the party and form a parliamentary bloc as the preparatory stage for the creation of a new political party.

Rep Lee Hee-gyu announced the agreement after the meeting and added that they would decide the timing and procedure of their defection. He also said that they would not attend any meeting hosted by the in-house committee aimed at electing a new presidential candidate.

They are reported to meet again late this week or early next week to persuade other lawmakers who did not attend yesterday`s meeting and to withdraw from the MDP on Oct 22.

After forming a floor negotiating group, they plan to launch a full-fledged negotiation to integrate all minor political factions and to field a single presidential candidate.

Member lawmakers of the MDP committee aimed at electing a new presidential candidate have been motivated with the resolution of nine lawmakers to leave the party and are expected to change their party membership en masse.

In response to their defection, Roh Moo-hyun, presidential candidate of the MDP, criticized them for denying the legitimate presidential candidate elected through the preliminaries with the public participation.

Rep. Shin Gi-nam of the MDP said that they argue fielding a single presidential candidate is needed to win the presidential election, but it undermine the legitimacy of the MDP and serves as a stumbling block to Roh`s victory by weakening the support base for Roh.

Meanwhile, the MDP refused the parliamentary interpellation session on society and culture yesterday, crippling the National Assembly. But the National Assembly is expected to get back to normal as the MDP said it would attend the deliberation on the budget plan by standing committee for the next fiscal year starting from today.

Young-Chan Yoon Yong-Gwan Jung yyc11@donga.com yongari@donga.com