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Congress for National Integration Promotion Is Backbone of Roh Government

Congress for National Integration Promotion Is Backbone of Roh Government

Posted April. 25, 2005 22:50,   


The members of the Congress for National Integration Promotion (CNIP), of which President Roh Moo-hyun was one, are emerging as the core power of the ruling party’s middle term in power. With the ruling party turning to emphasis on practicality, the position of CNIP members in Cheong Wa Dae and the Uri Party is strengthening. In the center of the voice stressing flexibility, like mutual living, are these members.

Today, the CNIP will have a dinner at the National Assembly speaker’s residence, sponsored by assembly speaker Kim Won-ki, who served as the chairman when it was first established in 1995.

Where the CNIP Members Are Now-

The Uri Party’s former chairman Lee Bu-young, committee chairman Yoo Ihn-tae in the Seoul Metropolitan Council, policy committee chairman Won Hye-young, central member of the standing committee Lee Mi-kyung, vice floor leader Kim Boo-kyum, and Rep. Kim Won-woong are from the CNIP.

In Cheong Wa Dae, the senior presidential secretary for civic and social affairs Lee Kang-chul who was appointed in January is from the CNIP. It was reported that chief presidential secretary for national policy Kim Byung-jun and Presidential Committee on Policy Planning chair Lee Jeong-woo are indirectly related to the CNIP. Ex-professors of political science at Yeungnam University, they were reported to be close to former CNIP member and representative Lee Su-in when they were in the academic circle.

Committee chair Yoo served as senior presidential secretary for political affairs for a year after President Roh’s inauguration and was elected party committee chairman in the Seoul Metropolitan Council.

President Roh has great confidence in policy committee chairman Won: the president said that he is a person “who must become a minister” at a CNIP meeting right after the 2002 presidential election.

Central member of the standing committee Lee is a three-time representative who is the chairman of the Culture and Tourism Committee at the National Assembly, and vice floor leader Kim is the virtual leader of re-elected representatives of the Uri Party who are in their 40s.

As a CNIP member in sports circles, former Uri Party representative Kim Jeong-gil was elected president of the Korea Olympic Committee in February. Although Lee Yeon-tak was unofficially decided to be the president then, rumors were rampant that Kim overtook the position at the last minute because his “CNIP kindred” pushed for Kim.

Former representative Park Seok-moo, who was appointed chief director at Dankook University last month, is also from the CNIP. Park served as representative for the 13th and 14th sessions of the National Assembly as a party member from the Peaceful Democratic Party and the Democratic Party.

Others include former representatives Lee-cheol and Kim Hong-shin. They ran for the general election last year as Uri Party members, but were not elected.

CNIP’s History-

The CNIP is an aggregation of non-partisans who left in the Democratic Party when the number one opposition party fell apart with the establishment of the National Congress for New Politics by former President Kim Dae-Jung in 1995. The late former representative Je Jung-goo was the secretary general and President Roh was a member of the standing executive committee then.

The CNIP members ran for the general election in 1996 crying out for regional integration and the “liquidation of the three Kims.” Yet, all but former party chairman Lee Bu-young and Je were defeated. Since then, they have been co-managing a restaurant named “Haro Dongseon”--meaning that they are not used now, like a stove in the summer and a fan in the winter, but will become important--and found solace in it. They later separated into the National Congress and GNP, but gathered back in the Democratic Party sometime around the 2002 general election.

Myoung-Gun Lee gun43@donga.com