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Dissolution of MDP In the Offing

Posted May. 12, 2003 22:04,   


As a factional feuding within the ruling Millennium Democratic Party is intensifying, the ruling party is now standing at the crossroads of dismantling.

The ruling party was supposed to hold a general meeting of all the MDP lawmakers Monday to discuss the formation of a new party. However, reformists, mostly close allies of President Roh Moo-hyun, refused to attend the scheduled meeting, saying, “It is meaningless to discuss the creation of a new party at a general meeting.

As a result, around forty old guards and moderates within the party were in hand to discuss the issue.

MDP chairman Chung Dae-chul, a leading reformist and supporter of the President, in the morning of Monday suggested MDP floor leader Chung Kyun-whan, a leading figure in the MDP old mainstream camp, that the MDP general meeting should be postponed because it is inappropriate to discuss the matter at the MDP lawmakers general meeting.

However, as the MDP floor leader refused the request, in turn, the MDP chairman Chung ordered lawmakers in the reformist camp not to attend the meeting.

MDP Secretary General Lee Sang-soo also made it clear that he would not attend the general meeting where the party old guards have enormous influence on the decision making process by saying, “Without any pending issues, it is inappropriate to call a general meeting simply to discuss the creation of a new party.”

The reformist faction decided to hold a forum on May 16 to gather broader opinions on the “creation of a new reform party” from reform-minded junior lawmakers. The reformists are now expected to actively persuade moderates within the MDP to participate the forum to make the meeting an occasion where as many as lawmakers can attend. The reformists are now planning to form a preparatory committee for the creation of a new party. The committee is expected to officially launch next week.

It has been known that MDP reformists are expected to declare the formation of a new party by saying that a new party inherits the spirit of the 5.18 Kwangju democratic movement when they visits a memorial cemetery to pay a tribute to the victims of the citizens uprising for democracy.

Meanwhile, party old guard at a MDP meeting Monday said that the reformists` move is tantamount to the violation of the party laws because they are proceeding with their plan without due procedures.

However, some moderates in the MDP expressed their concerns over the on-going developments by saying, “It is lamentable that the debate over the creation of a new party has been developed into a factional feuding. We are strongly against disbanding the MDP.”

Hyung-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com