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Restoration of Spokesperson System is not New Politics

Posted November. 28, 2003 23:16,   


The newly-formed Uri Party, whose members disputed with each other on how to elect a party leader, now has a controversy over whether or not to appoint a spokesperson.

Rep. Kim Won-gi, a co-leader of the party, said at a party executive meeting on Friday, “In order to comprehensively cope with the current stalemate of the National Assembly, we will form a provisional apparatus,” signaling that the party would introduce a spokesperson system. Rep. Chung Dong-chea, the party`s chief publicist, said, “I will hold an additional post as spokesperson.” He reportedly expressed his will to the party’s public information office, which has spoken for the party so far, that “it would be better if I review our party’s major commentary and statements before they are released.”

The charter of the Uri Party stipulates that the party shall form a public information office instead of appointing a spokesperson in order to “avoid political disputes.” Public relation work has been carried by two different groups -- by Rep. Chunng and Rep. Kim Boo-kyum who are in charge of public relation, and by Rep. Lee Pyung-soo, in charge of public information.

Some party members including those in the public information office, criticize the decision, saying, “Introducing a spokesperson system which is not specified in the party charter without a formal discussion cannot be the new politics of a new party.”

Rep. Lee said, “Amid the unfavorable situation under which the party has not provided sufficient support to the office saying that the party would ‘reduce political disputes,’ the public information office has taken all the responsibility of a spokesperson. So the relevant people are shocked to hear this sudden decision.”

A relevant person who asked to remain anonymous said, “The party leadership showed duplicity in that it requested to ‘keep a distance from the media,’ but said at the meeting that ‘our party is not good at public relations’.”

The dispute is expected to continue as some first-time lawmakers in the metropolitan area reportedly want to become spokespersons, saying that “it would be helpful if I appear in the media often before next year’s general election.”

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com