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MDP Chairman Han Accepted Proposal of Advancing National Convention

MDP Chairman Han Accepted Proposal of Advancing National Convention

Posted December. 26, 2002 22:31,   


Han Hwa-gap, chairman of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) on Thursday accepted in public the proposals made by lawmakers close to President-elect Roh of giving up the challenge to the party`s top post and holding a party national convention earlier than usual.

At a press meeting held in the party headquarters in Yeouido, central Seoul, he said, "We will complete the issue of forming an ad-hoc committee for party reform at a supreme council meeting on Friday. And the national convention could be held at the earliest time depending on the reform plan. I cannot bid for a new party leadership because I should be in charge of organizing a clean and fair competition."

With Mr. Han giving up his bid for the leadership, the debate on party reform within the MDP is likely to gain momentum and the race for the leadership is expected to start in earnest.

For the appointment for the ad-hoc committee for reform, Chairman Han sent a message to Mr. Roh`s faction that he would consider their opinions if they give a list of those who they recommend as the committee chief and members. Though he quoted Mr. Roh as saying, "On the principle of separation of the ruling party and the government, the party should decide on the party issues on its own," he hinted at his plan to reflect the President-elect`s opinion in the personnel matter.

However, a senior official close the Mr. Roh is stirring up controversy by insisting that chairman Han should give the job of nomination for the reform committee to the President-elect and should not engage in it." Jeong Dae-chul, supreme council member, is said to have had back-to-back meetings with President-elect Roh and chairman Han respectively in order to discuss the line-up of the reform committee. Meanwhile, the MDP held a workshop of election preparation committee members at Hanwha Resort in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi province with Mr. Roh attending and they had an in-depth debate on party reform measures.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com