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With Chung`s Rejection, Single Candidacy Talks in Tatters

With Chung`s Rejection, Single Candidacy Talks in Tatters

Posted November. 21, 2002 22:44,   


The single candidacy talks between Roh Moo-hyun, presidential candidate of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), and his counterpart Chung Mong-joon of National Alliance 21 are facing rough going.

Negotiators from each camp reached agreement with difficulty at a hotel in downtown Seoul after the overnight negotiation from the night in Nov. 20 to the morning in Nov. 21. However, on the ground that there are not enough countermeasures against the possibility of Grand National party supporters intentionally distorting the result of the opinion poll, Chung rejected the agreement at the last minute.

As a result, the two teams of negotiators started renegotiation on the afternoon of Nov. 21, but the talks also failed as Chung demanded change of questions in the qeustionaire with that reason and Roh was opposed to the change.

The two candidates also have different opinions on the date of survey. Chung sticks to a weekday of Nov. 25, while Roh insists that the survey be conducted on two occasions on Sunday (Nov. 24) and on a weekday.

Asked why it takes time to reach agreement by reporters, Chung said that for a fair opinion poll, each camp should consider safe device.

There is a possibility that the single candidacy talks goes back to the starting point unless the two camps reach agreement until the morning of Nov. 22. It is because there would be some problem in the scheduled TV debate on the evening of that day.

The two camps came to an agreement temporarily on other points of contention in the Nov. 21 contact, including having the TV debate in the National Assembly 7-9 p.m. on Nov. 22.

They are reported to have narrowed their differences on selection of pollsters. They just have some differences on the questions of the opinion poll and the date.

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