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Uri Party Blames Government for Loss

Posted June. 02, 2006 04:27,   


In his response to the local election results, in which the ruling party was crushed by the opposition party, President Roh Moo-hyun said he views the outcome as reflecting people’s opinions, but made clear that there will be no change in the current governance policies.

After being briefed on the election results from Cheong Wa Dae chief of staff Lee Byung-wan yesterday, President Roh said the government will do its utmost to complete policy tasks at hand.

Nevertheless, some in the Uri Party blamed the administration for failing to revive the economy and confusing the public about the real estate policy, arguing that both the party and the government must be called to account for the party’s crushing defeat.

According to a Dong-A Ilbo survey, the majority of Uri Party lawmakers see the government’s “failed economic policy” and “incapable and arrogant image” as reasons for the party’s failure in the election.

Some raise concerns that the disagreement between the government and the Uri Party over the election results and causes can weaken ruling party’s political power or add to political uncertainties.

“I profoundly and humbly accept the people’s criticism reflected on the election. I will step down from the party chairman position and will participate in politics as a commoner,” Uri Party leader Chung Dong-young said at a press conference held at party headquarters yesterday.

On the same day, the Uri Party leadership held a meeting to discuss whether whole of the leadership should step down and whether Kim Geun-tae, who earned the second most votes in the party convention, should become the party head, but failed to decide on anything.

The party is going to discuss the matter again on June 5, and it is very likely that Kim will take the party chairmanship position.

Jung-Hun Kim Yeon-Wook Jung jnghn@donga.com jyw11@donga.com