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Mr. Roh`s Special Press Conference Today

Posted July. 20, 2003 21:34,   


President Roh Moo-hyun will hold a press conference, regarding the controversy over campaign funds in last year`s presidential election, at Cheong Wa Dae at 11:00 on Monday. He is expected to suggest that both ruling and opposition parties come clean on improper practices of political fund raising as well as their own campaign funds.

It is said that the president will express regret over the fact that his call for the disclosure of all campaign funds through his chief of staff Moon Hee-sang on July 15 rather escalated into a political strife but that he will repeat his call at the news conference.

And he also plans to suggest including all expenses for election preparation before the official campaign period in campaign funds and establishing a joint committee composed of ruling and opposition politicians and outside figures for verification of campaign funds.

As opposition parties and civic groups are calling on the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) to disclose its campaign funds first, Mr. Roh will show his position that on condition that both ruling and opposition parties agree on the disclosure, the MDP can do first.

Mr. Roh is reported to plan to suggest a set of concrete measures related to election, political funds and party to reform the whole political system. He plans to ask for the legislation of his measures within this year so that general elections next year could be held in a new political environment.

"At the news conference on July 21 there will be more concrete suggestions than in the July 15 announcement," presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young said. "However, the president will not disclose details on his campaign funds because the MDP knows about the funds."

The spokesman also said, "The special press conference was ordered by the president two to three days ago and finally decided on Sunday. The conference will last 30 minutes. At first the president will read a statement and then he will answer reporters’ questions."

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com