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Chairman Kang Refuses to Resign while Internal Disputes Mar GNP

Chairman Kang Refuses to Resign while Internal Disputes Mar GNP

Posted May. 01, 2007 03:04,   


After the crushing defeat in the by-elections of April 25, the Grand National Party is mired in internal strife. GNP Chairman Kang Jae-seop Monday announced a reform package to renovate itself, establish a party-led nomination process, and open doors to outside figures.

But his actions haven’t quelled the situation. Jeon Jae-hee, the chairwoman of the GNP policy committee, stepped down from her post the same day, and lawmakers Hong Joon-pyo, Jeon Yeo-ok and reform-minded and junior lawmakers urged party leaders to resign.

In a press conference held at party’s headquarters in Yeomchang-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul, the GNP leader refused to give up his post, saying, “If I resign, disputes over the composition of the party’s new leadership will be heated. And at the worst, the party could break up. I`m not holding on to the position. When the presidential nomination process ends, I will decide my course of action on behalf of the party after consultations with our presidential candidate.”

Former Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak, one of the GNP’s two strong presidential hopefuls, didn’t comment on the plan, showing a “wait and see” attitude. In his camp, a majority thinks the chairman’s measures won’t meet expectations.

Former chairman Park Geun-hye, the other hopeful, supported the package, saying, “Chairman Kang made a responsible decision. He should exercise strong leadership to gain more support from the public.”

Rep. Lee Jae-oh, a supreme council member, still has not decided his course of action while he said he would after the reform plan came out. Rep. Lee is a close aide of former mayor Lee. Therefore, if he left the council, the current collective leadership will end and a new leadership regime will start.