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Roh: Uri’s Candidate Could Be Outsider

Posted August. 07, 2006 05:52,   


President Roh made a significant remark yesterday that signals the possibility of bringing in a new person to run for the presidential election for the ruling party.

During the luncheon meeting at Cheong Wa Dae with the party leadership including chairman Kim Geun-tae, President Roh said, “The Uri Party is a big and strong ship. There is no reason for us to be worried because we cannot find an eligible candidate to run for the presidential election. If we manage to keep our party in good shape, maybe a new, good captain will come along to lead our ship.”

Jung Tae-ho, the spokesperson of Cheong Wa Dae, and Woo Sang-ho, the spokesperson of the Uri Party said that the president added, “It seems that there are many competitive candidates within the party too, so the candidate for the presidential election can be selected through a competition in and outside the party.”

Another member of the Uri Party said that the president said, “There is no reason for Uri Party to lose confidence because the party does not have an eligible candidate right now. The situation will change if we keep the ship in good shape.”

President Roh’s statement is expected to send shockwaves through the ruling party as it shows that there is a possibility of inviting a new candidate who is not a member of the party for the upcoming presidential election, which will possibly change the shape of the power map inside the party.

President Roh also commented on the rumor about his leaving the party, saying “I will not leave the party. The Uri Party should epitomize the historical legitimacy of Korea and lead the national integration in the future. After my presidential term, I am determined to stay in the party to serve as a commoner.”

Also, he said, “The right to implement personal management is the ultimate right left for the president to lead the country in a responsible way. Therefore, I will be glad if the Uri party respects my opinions,” when he was asked about his feelings about the ruling party’s opposition to the appointment of Moon Jae-in, the former Senior Secretary to the President for Civic Affairs, as the new Minister of Justice.

The members of the Uri Party agreed with President Roh’s remarks that day. The spokespersons of Cheong Wa Dae and Uri Party announced that the president and the party agreed on three things; the fact that the authority of personnel commission belongs to the president; the president should listen carefully to the advice from and proposals of the party members while they are suggested in an appropriate way; and they establish a “ruling party-government-Cheong Wa Dae leading group meeting,” which will be attended by the prime minister as well, in order to promote harmonious conversations.

Jung, spokesperson of Cheong Wa Dae, said, “There was no in-depth discussion of the appointment of Moon Jae-in as the Minister of Justice.” This shows that President Roh is still pondering on the issue.

Meanwhile, Jung said that the president would accept the resignation of Kim Byung-jun, education minister, on August 7.