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Roh, Chung, a Step Closer to Single Candidacy

Posted November. 06, 2002 22:54,   


The move to field a single presidential candidate is peaking up steam between Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party(MDP) and Chung Mong-jun, Roh`s counterpart of the National Alliance Party 21. The both sides have decided to form a task force and complete to filed a single candidate between the two before Nov. 18, when political rallies are prevented.

The prospect of the negotiation, however, is still bleak. The Roh side is concerned about losing growth momentum of his popularity while promoting to field a single candidate. Some say that a hasty Roh wants an early conclusion of the negotiation. Regarding the method to field a single candidate, both sides have failed to reache an agreement. Roh wants open primaries while Chung prefers public polls.

Roh formed a task force for negotiation comprising Reps. Lee Hae-chan, Lee Sang-su, Kim Gyeong-jae, Lee Jae-jung, Lee Ho-ung, Kim Han-gil led by Rep. Kim Weon-gi.

Roh has postponed the deadline for Chung to accept the negotiation from Nov. 5 to this weekend.

Chung also makes it clear that the both sides should reach an agreement as soon as possible. Park Bum-jin, a close aide to Chung, said that every procedure to field a single presidential runner should be completed at least by Nov. 18.

Roh is reported to consider conducting primaries with 50% of electorates appointed by each party and 50% of public voters while insisting open primaries.

Lee Cheol, the chairman of organizing committee for the National Alliance Party 21 said that the party would consider every possible ways for single candidacy, but there was an internal consensus formed that open primaries are out of question.

Some in the National Alliance Party 21 suggest forming the electorates by appointing 35% of them from each party and assigning the remaining 30% to the public. But the party leadership dismisses the suggestion as a personal opinion. With a number of suggestions springing up, it is expected that the negotiation for single candidacy would take much time to be concluded.

Young-Chan Yoon Sung-Won Park yyc11@donga.com swpark@donga.com