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GNP Chair Reshuffles Party Posts

Posted November. 22, 2005 08:34,   


On November 21, GNP Chairperson Park Geun-hye assigned new people to leadership posts that became vacant as the recent proposal to innovate the party was passed.

Three-time lawmaker and National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee Chairman Choi Yeon-hee of Donghae and Samchuk, Gangwon Province became the party’s secretary-general. First time lawmaker Lee Kye-jin was appointed as spokesperson and Yoo Jeong-bok as head of the party secretariat. Eom Ho-sung was appointed as chief of Strategic Planning Headquarters, Choung Byoung-gug as chief of Public Affairs Planning Headquarters, Park Jae-wan as chairman of External Cooperation Committee, Kim Jae-won as chairman of Planning Committee, and Kim Jung-hoon as the chairman of Information Committee.

Three-time lawmaker Ahn Sang-su is a strong candidate to replace Legislation and Judiciary Committee Chairman Choi.

The characteristic of this reshuffling is regional distribution in an effort to rid the Youngnam region party’s image and assigning minority faction members, who opposed Chairperson Park, to key posts.

While handing out letters of appointment, Chairperson Park explained, “I place high value on professionalism without any preferential treatment.”

Assigning Choi, a native of Gangneung, to a post held by Youngnam natives was a move toward regional distribution. Appointing Choung, a key member of “Wednesday Meeting,” a minority faction of the GNP, as chief of the Public Affairs Planning Headquarters is seen as an action to embrace the “Anti-Park” faction.

The new head of the GNP Secretariat, Yoo, does not fall into either pro or anti- Park categories and is reported to have gained the trust of Park by adhering to his convictions and meticulous methods of addressing issues.

The new party spokesperson Lee is getting the most attention. Unlike his predecessor Chun Yeo-ok, notorious for a carping tongue, he is quite the opposite, a very quiet person. In addition, he is firm on his belief of using precise and beautiful Korean words, and people are hoping that he might change the way comments and statements are made in the political arena.

Nevertheless some express their concern, “When necessary, they need to be sharp in order to properly play the role of the opposition party spokesperson.”

Lee commented, “In order to make politics interesting and loved by the public, I will open a new era of spokespersons.”

Jung-Eun Lee Dong-Yong Min lightee@donga.com mindy@donga.com