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Dissent Grows Within Uri Party

Posted October. 31, 2005 03:01,   


Although Cheong Wa Dae delayed its comments on the criticisms toward the president, a feud in the ruling party shows no sign of cooling down, with supporters of the president within the Uri Party calling such criticisms “a coup by the majority.”

Some lawmakers who voiced criticism toward the president in a meeting of party legislators and post holders at the Assembly building seem to be holding their ground, however, saying that the president still does not realize the urgency of the situation.

“It is not a desirable outcome, but this kind of crisis was common in our political past. And each time, we successfully overcame such a crisis. I believe the Uri Party will also cope well this time,” President Roh said while having lunch with news reporters covering Cheong Wa Dae in regard to the en masse resignation of Uri Party leadership.

Rhyu Si-min of the ruling party, a staunch supporter of Roh, described the meeting as a “mini-impeachment of the president by the ruling party, calling for the president to keep his hands off politics, just like what the GNP and MDP say,’’ on Saturday.

“In an appropriate time, between early next year and February 25, I will announce my assessment of the current situation and future plans,” Roh said during a luncheon with reporters.

“When a policy issue of conflicting interests are not resolved and are delayed, the integration of the people into the political process can be threatened. I will propose some ideas of future plans and social decision-making structures to solve those issues.”

Meeting with core figures from his party, the government, and Cheong Wa Dae, he emphasized the Uri Party should "stand at the forefront of politics." However he made no comments on the personnel renewal issues raised by the ruling party.

He also said, “I will keep working with Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, but Uri Party members now in the cabinet can make their own decision,” implying a possible return to the party of Unification Minister Chung Dong-young and Health and Welfare Minister Kim Geun-tae is a fait accompli.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com taewon_ha@donga.com