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GNP Exploits Uri Party Infighting

Posted October. 31, 2005 03:01,   


Even if the enemy’s camp is noisy, we will go our way.

While Uri Party members are embroiled in fighting among themselves in the aftermath of the October 26 by-election, the Grand National Party is putting itself in order. Due to the internal strife inside the ruling party, the GNP has been given room to catch its breath in the all-out war against the ruling party that intensified over the issue of the national identity.

The GNP is accelerating last-minute preparations for the renovation of the party and the reshuffling of party posts. If the proposal for the renovation of the party is implemented after approval in the party members’ representatives’ meeting scheduled for November 17, the system of the party will go through a complete change.

A senior official of the party said, “The best way to deal with the internal strife inside the ruling party is to watch, rather than to respond to it using political attacks,” adding, “We have to differentiate ourselves from the ruling party by moving in perfect order while they are in a state of internal strife.”

This judgment on the part of the GNP reflects the sense that the results of the October 26 by-election were a windfall gain for the GNP due to the mismanagement of the ruling Uri Party, not that the GNP is better than the ruling party.

That is why the party leadership has warned so-called “easy-going” lawmakers, who seem to be unaware of the urgency of the political situation, against complacency. Quite a few voices say that it is not the time for the GNP to be in the state of euphoria after the election victory given that during the by-election, there had been noises over issues regarding the nominations of candidates, and that the GNP had a hard fight in Daegu, a traditional GNP stronghold.

Inside the party, a large-scale reshuffling is expected. It is urgent to find replacements for Maeng Hyung-kyu, the policy commission chair, and Yoo Seong-min, the chief secretary. On October 30, both of them officially declared their intentions to step down from their party posts to run for the job of the Seoul City Mayor. Chun Yu-ok, the spokeswoman of the party, is also said to have made a decision to resign from her current post after the reshuffling of the party posts.

Kim Moo-sung, the party secretary, said, “It is right that those who were appointed to their posts, including me, resign from our posts if the party system changes.”

However, the party’s problem is that it will be hard to find replacements for them, because all of the prominent figures inside the party are planning to run in regional elections scheduled for next year. Of interest is how GNP Chairwoman Park Geun-hye’s style of appointing will change. Chairman Park invited criticism for her “Park Geun-hye-style appointing” by nominating her close conservative associates to party posts.

Jung-Eun Lee lightee@donga.com