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Pro-Roh Lawmakers Willing to Accept Amendment

Posted January. 24, 2007 06:20,   


Uri Party lawmakers who want to avoid a possible break-up of the party indicated they would accept the revision of party membership regulations on January 23, while those favoring the formation of a new party are trying to justify their move to desert the party.

Lawmaker Lee Hwa-yeong, one of those loyal to President Roh, indicated pro-Roh lawmakers would accept the amendment proposal by saying, “We concluded that we should avoid the coming catastrophe as (the new party faction) has showed its clear intention to break up the party by using the court’s ruling against the new rules as a pretext.” He added, “We don’t want to give them an excuse for departing.”

Lawmaker Oh Yeong-sik said that other pro-Roh lawmakers, including Kim Hyeong-joo, Kim Tae-nyeon and Lee Kwang-cheol, showed their willingness to face the crisis of the party in a meeting with moderates, including Moon Hui-sang, Bae Ki-seon, Won Hye-yeong, and Oh. Lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae said he will persuade (the key members) to drop their lawsuit for a provisional disposition.

Such a change in attitude has come as pro-Roh lawmakers do not want to take the blame for a possible split of the party. The court ruled against the amendment on January 19, and some of them, including former supreme member Kim Doo-kwan, manifested their intention to block the central committee’s meeting scheduled on January 29 for the revision of the party constitution. The pro-Roh group believes that these moves gave those favoring a new party an excuse to defect from the party.

Accordingly, the Uri Party will have a party convention on February 14 when the central committee passes the amendment on January 29. Re-elected lawmakers such as Im Jong-seok, Jeong Jang-seon, Kim Bu-kyeom, and Cho Bae-sook have agreed that the party convention should be held as scheduled.

However, those favoring a new party are mostly skeptical. A re-elected lawmaker said furiously, “They already messed it up. Isn’t it too late to fix it now?” Some think that they cannot be in the same party with those who want to prevent the split.

Lawmaker Lee Kye-ahn, who indicated his intention to defect from the party on the previous day, posted his final decision at his homepage. He intends to submit a defection form around January 24.

Lawmaker Chun Jung-bae indicated he still wants to defect from the party, saying at an informal meeting with journalists, “The amendment itself is not a decisive factor in deciding whether to form a new party or stay in the party.”