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Divided Opinion over Scheduled Executive Committee Meeting

Divided Opinion over Scheduled Executive Committee Meeting

Posted May. 29, 2003 21:22,   


Executive members of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) are scheduled to convene to discuss the issue about forming a new party on Friday, but it is expected to be difficult to reach agreement at the meeting.

On Thursday, MDP supreme council members talked about whether to hold an executive members’ meeting and decided to hold the meeting as scheduled because some 40 executive members had requested it. At the scheduled meeting, executive members will exchange words over how to form a new party.

The same day, MDP Chairman Chung Dai-chul and Rep. Lee Yong-hee and Rep. Kim Tae-rang agreed on the executive meeting while supreme council members Park Sang-cheon and Lee Hyup, and floor leader Chung Kyun-hwan opposed the idea of holding the meeting, worrying that the proposal of forming a new party could be passed quickly.

As the supreme council members failed to reach a conclusion, the party chairman said, "Even if we do not introduce a plan on the formation of a new political party, we will be able to discuss which direction the new party can go."

Therefore, open debate has started concerning the new party. MDP members who want reshuffle without dismantling the existing party are still sticking however, to their own position of "remodeling."

In particular, party members against a new party are ready to raise questions about certain ideologies. At a gathering with reporters after the supreme council meeting on Thursday, Park Sang-cheon said that forces planning to join the new party as initiated by some MDP members are all progressive groups, and that they are demanding a progressive party and party practicing populism.

Representing those for the dismantlement of the MDP, Party Chairman Chung Dai-chul, disregarded what Park said lightly, saying that the new party is not likely to be progressive. However, party old guards are still eyeing them with suspicion.

Against this backdrop, Chung said, "Party members are divided on issues including the ideology of the new party. This is because of a lack of confidence among them. The problem can be resolved though official talks and behind-the-scenes dialogue." This suggests that they would persuade the ‘old guard’ through meetings such as an executive committee meeting to be held in the near future.

However, Rep. Kim Ok-du showed distrust about the faction pursuing a new party, saying, "They appear to retreat somewhat for their purpose but we will not be deceived."

Meanwhile, a group of young lawmakers are demanding that the existing leadership including the floor leader set up a committee for the formation of the new party and give way to the committee. Conflict between younger and older members is expected to continue.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com