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“A Vote for the MDP is A Vote for the GNP,” Says the President

“A Vote for the MDP is A Vote for the GNP,” Says the President

Posted December. 24, 2003 22:38,   


“A vote for the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) in the National Assembly elections next year will translate into a vote for the Grand National Party (GNP),” President Roh Moo-hyun said on December 24, adding, “The political landscape will be dominated by the NDP on one hand and the Uri Party on the other.”

His remarks elicited strong criticism from the GNP and the MDP which described them as a case of illicit pre-election campaigning.

President Roh made the remarks at a luncheon meeting with legislative adviser Park Beom-gye and the other five secretaries and administrators who had resigned from their posts to run in the elections next year, a source who attended the meeting said. The president also said, “Mapping out the campaign and hyping it up are important.”

Commenting on next year’s electoral perspective, President Roh said, “Public sentiment that the state can not be left as it is any longer is needed to be formed in order to hype up the campaign.” He said, “I will attempt to hype it up so it can help you.”

“The GNP is intensively discounting my presidency and crippling the government administration,” he added, pointing to the majority opposition party.

As for Yo Taek-soo, the former administrator of his office who received 30 million won in illicit political donations from Sun & Moon Group, a real estate developer, the president said. ”The press talked about him as if he had received more than 30 million won. One party almost extorted and the other party had little choice but to run afoul of the law in collecting money,” President Roh concluded, muttering his discontent with media coverage of his entourage’s corruption.

“If he continues his illicit pre-election campaigning,” said Hon Jun-pyo, the chairman of the GNP’s strategic planning committee, “he should understand that he may face impeachment.”

“He made such remarks because he lost sight of presidential duties and responsibilities,” Kim Young-hwan, a permanent member of the MDP’s central committee, said, speaking for the party.

The luncheon meeting was attended by Seo Kap-won and Kim Hyun-mi, the two former secretaries of political affairs; Yun Hoon-ryol, the former secretary of event planning; Seong Jae-do, the former secretary for civil society groups and Kwon Yang-sook, the first lady.

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com