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Roh Would Consider Leaving Uri Party: Aide

Posted January. 16, 2007 03:01,   


Presidential chief of staff Lee Byung-wan said, "If the GNP asks the president to leave the party in exchange for a constitutional change or it offers other conditions, we can seriously consider them," in relation to a constitutional amendment to a two consecutive-term, four-year presidency.

Presidential chief of staff Lee Byung-wan answered in a forum hosted by the Korea Press Foundation like this to the question, “Can the president leave Uri Party to prove the sincerity of his proposals of constitutional amendments?” He also added, “And yet, the issue of defection of the president is not a matter to be related to sincerity of the proposal.”

Lee reiterated, “I think President Roh would introduce the amendment as long as no special issues emerge. Once the president has indicated he wants to amend the Constitution based on his right granted by the Constitution, it would be desirable to discuss in that way.”

About how president would drive the issue, he said, “If Cheong Wa Dae can do something on its own, it would do it. And, if the Uri Party makes some internal organizations, such as creating a committee for a constitutional amendment, it would join to discuss further matters with the opposition party.”

On this, GNP spokesman Yoo Ki-jun said, “About a constitutional amendment, the GNP and people have already made a clear answer. It is beyond further discussion to mention other preconditions.” He rejected further discussions, saying, “A constitutional amendment is not a matter of bargaining. We cannot help but doubt President Roh’s sincerity about this issue.”