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“The So-called Kim’s War” Hanging over the Ruling and the Opposition Party

“The So-called Kim’s War” Hanging over the Ruling and the Opposition Party

Posted May. 13, 2004 21:17,   


In case President Roh Moo-hyun is reinstated to his post on Friday, the ruling and the opposition party are more likely to be involved in a tug of war over the issue of appointing a presidential special adviser for the economy, Kim Hyuk-kyu, as a new prime minister.

The reason is that while the president has been indirectly expressing his intention to appoint Mr. Kim as a prime minister, the Grand National Party has been strongly opposed to it ahead of the upcoming reelection and the by-election on June 5.

Given the timetable that a confirmation approval can be handled after a public hearing of assessing the government personnel at the 17th session of the National Assembly starting on June 7, the nomination of a new prime minister should be done by early June at the latest.

So far, Mr. Roh has been said to be very determined to appoint Mr. Kim as prime minister. Now, some presidential aides, who mentioned an alternative or concerned about the opposition from the Grand National Party when the rumor of appointing Mr. Kim as a new prime minister surfaced at first, are silent on it.

One official from the majority Uri Party questioned why the Grand National Party were against Mr. Kim citing the politics of coexistence. He criticized that “the strong opposition to the appointment of Mr. Kim” was something of a political strategy to secure Gyeongsang province. However, for its part, the majority Uri Party is facing some dilemmas. The reason is that if it recklessly sticks to “the appointment of Mr. Kim” from the start after winning the majority seat in the National Assembly, it can undermine the politics of coexistence. The Grand National Party has been vigorously against Mr. Kim’s nomination to the post of prime minister. Hard line atmosphere has been surfacing everywhere.

Behind those scenes of opposing Mr. Kim from Gyeongsang province, the Grand National Party’s analysis remains that it will prevent the ruling party from launching its all-out attack in Gyeongsang province on the June 5th reelection and by-election, which is an urgent issue. We can find some serious concerns that unless it retains the public support of Gyeongsang province, the existing public support will be alienated from the Grand National Party.

Park Geun-hye, leader of the opposition Grand National Party, criticized in a luncheon gathering with local reporters on Thursday that even though the ruling party may have negotiated it with President Roh, it was wrong for them to offer a high government position in order to win an election. She said that if the ruling party sticks to it despite strong opposition from the Grand National Party, it would be its unyielding spirit to disregarding the opposition party.

As to this issue, the Grand National Party strongly denounced Mr. Kim for his comments on Wednesday that if they win in an by-election for a mayor in Busan and a governor in South Gyeongsang province, President Roh would give us a significant reward.

Park Geun-hye said in a standing steering committee on this day that Mr. Kim had said these absurd words. She criticized that given that the president had been impeached on charges of violating the election law, if the man on the rumors of becoming prime minister said this and that man became prime minister, the election law would evaporate.

“These types of words come under the pre-election campaigning, and I view it as a very serious problem that people can say many words conflicting with the election law without hesitation,” she added.

Young-Chan Yoon Yeon-Wook Jung yyc11@donga.com jyw11@donga.com