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Uri Party Discord Worsening: Report

Posted January. 23, 2007 07:05,   


The partnership between Uri Party Chairman Kim Geun-tae and his predecessor Chung Dong-young seems to be crumbling.

The two agreed to join hands in an effort to make a new political party through a party convention on December 27, 2006.

However, Chung has already indicated his intention to bolt from the party. “If (the plan to create a new party) comes to an end, I will have to make a tough decision,” Chung said on Sunday at his fan club’s inauguration ceremony.

In response to the announcement, Kim held an emergency meeting Monday and urged party members not to mention their intention to withdraw from the party until January 29, when the central committee is convened.

Kim’s close aides believe that Chung’s decision to leave the party is a betrayal of Kim, who cannot make personal decisions at the moment because of his responsibilities as party chairman. “Chung’s aides belonging to the crisis management committee strongly urged him to revise the party constitution by convening the central committee. And they got what they wanted,” one of Kim’s advisers said. “Chung is attempting to make more excuses to quit the party by pushing ahead with unrealistic measures,” the advisor said.

Meanwhile, Chung’s close aide has repeatedly claimed that Chung’s statement does not imply a decision to leave the party, saying the statement was made in an attempt to put pressure on party members who are against the revision of the party constitution.

“The new party should not be led by existing politicians, but by a new political force made up of scholars, professionals and economists. And in order to do that, Kim should join the force,” a confidant of Chung said. However, many people are skeptical whether the two, who were once rivals in the party as the next presidential hopefuls, will be able to work together in harmony under a new party.