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GNP Floor Leader and Spokesman Express Willingness for Resignation

GNP Floor Leader and Spokesman Express Willingness for Resignation

Posted February. 12, 2004 22:24,   


Rep. Hong Sa-duk, the floor leader of the opposition Grand National Party, and Rep. Park Jin, its spokesperson, declared their intentions for resignation from their posts on February 12 in protest of the way the GNP leadership handled the key political issues.

The abrupt resignation of the two lawmakers from the key party posts, which came amid the intensifying conflict between stalwarts and newcomers and rising demands for the resignation of Choe Byung-yul as chairman, will likely intensify infighting over the withdrawal of the current leadership.

Rep. Hong told reporters after a steering committee meeting, “To take responsibility for the passage of a resolution of former GNP chairman Suh Chung-won’s release [from prison] and botched attempts to endorse the FTA with Chile, I will resign as floor leader on February 16 after the ratification of the FTA.”

Rep. Hong has been critical of the party leadership’s lackadaisical view of the state of affairs and the way it handled them. As for minority members’ call for the prompt withdrawal of the current leadership, he said, “It is inconsiderate of them to talk about the withdrawal of the chairman and a new party convention just 60 days ahead of the National Assembly elections.”

However, Rep. Nam Kyung-pil and Rep. Won Hee-ryong, the minorities, repeatedly demanded the resignation of Choe as GNP chairman to completely recast the party.

Rep. Park Jin expressed his willingness for resignation as spokesperson in a press briefing and said, “I feel frustrated with the fact that I had to justify the resolution calling for former chairman Suh’s release as spokesperson. As a result, I caused trouble to the party.”

Chairman Choe reportedly met with his closest allies, Rep. Kim Moon-soo, the head of the committee screening lawmaker nominees, Hong Joon-pyo, the head of the strategic planning committee and Rep. Lim Tae-hee, his personal aide in a Chinese restaurant to discuss ways to end the internal conflict of the GNP, including him not running in the April National Assembly elections.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com