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Uri Party Revises Party Constitution

Posted January. 30, 2007 06:47,   


The Uri Party held a central committee meeting at the National Assembly on Monday, passed a resolution abolishing its existing party-membership system, and introduced a basic, contribution-based party-membership system by an overwhelming majority. A total of 62 of the participating 63 lawmakers voted for the proposed resolution in favor of the party-constitution revision.

In addition, the lawmakers unanimously passed an agenda that endorses the establishment of a new party at the party`s national caucus slated for February 14.

Under the previous party-membership system, only those who have paid membership fees for over six months one month before the national caucus will be given the right to vote and to run for an election. The system made recruiting outsiders difficult and was criticized as a cause for the party’s failure.

Under the new party-membership system, those who have either paid membership fees for over three months or more one month before the national assembly, or those who have been recognized by the president of the party consultation meeting, can have the right to vote and to run for an election.

Pro-new party lawmakers who have insisted on the abolition of the existing party-membership system had said that they would decide weather to bolt from the party or not after watching the outcome of the central committee meeting. Therefore, with the passage of the resolution, they are likely to put off their plans to withdraw from the party.

The resolution was passed because President Roh Moo-hyun, who urged lawmakers not to split the party, persuaded lawmakers who were opposed to the creation of a new party. Those pro-Roh central committee members expressed their support of the adoption of the party-constitution amendment bill. However, some lawmakers are still considering quitting the party despite the central committee’s decision.

Rep. Yeom Dong-yun is expected to tender a resignation letter Tuesday as planned. Meanwhile, Kim Han-gil, the floor leader of the ruling Uri Party, whose term finishes on Tuesday, said, “I have not made up my mind in regard to bolting from the party.”

Kang Bong-kyun, Uri`s chief policymaker, also said, “It will depend on the leadership, whether it can push ahead with the disbanding of the party or not.” Rep. Yang Hyeong-il said, “It is still too early to conclude that there will be a major change in some lawmakers’ inclination of leaving the party.”