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Single Candidacy Negotiation Hit a New Snag Again

Posted November. 11, 2002 22:52,   


Roh Mu-hyun, the presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) said he would accept the proposal of Chung Mong-jun of the National Alliance 21 to field a single presidential candidate through public surveys. But Chung proposed again to field a single presidential candidate through a telephone poll of the same number of delegates from each party. Chung`s renewed proposal was turned down by Roh, casting a shadow over a single candidacy.

Both sides met each other behind the scenes and engaged themselves in heated debate to explore ways to field a single candidate, but to no avail.

Kim Haeng, spokesperson of the election polling committee in the National Alliance 21 told reporters after a party meeting that Roh`s proposal to field a single candidate based on opinion poll results could not guarantee the fairness because of the possibility of disrupting maneuvers by proponents of Lee Hoi-chang, the standard bearer of the Grand National Party(GNP). the close aide to Chung proposed telephone polls of delegates recommended by each party.

Kim Gyoung-jae of the MDP`s election polling committee criticized and rejected Chung`s proposal saying that his proposal was aimed to take advantage of the internal feud of the MDP and to include MDP lawmakers who opposed primaries to field a single candidate in opinion polls.

Meanwhile, Roh held a meeting with religions leaders in Gwangju and said that he changed his position since he felt the need to bring some changes to the existing condition and that he expected his elections committee to be more flexible in negotiating with Chung`s National Alliance 21.

Rep. Lee Hae-chan, the chief delegate on Roh`s side told reporters that Roh would consider all the alternatives including opinion polls since he did not have time for primaries. He also said that Roh was considering a new alternative of holding primaries participated by the general public and delegates from both parties, then adding the results of opinions polls.

Sung-Won Park Jeong-Hun Kim swpark@donga.com jnghn@donga.com