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GNP’s Two Presidential Hopefuls Meet

Posted May. 05, 2007 03:02,   


Two candidates for the upcoming presidential election, Lee Myung-bak, former mayor of Seoul, and Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the Grand National Party (GNP), finally agreed to leave discussions on rules related to the party’s primary in the hands of the party’s leadership.

The two hopefuls decided to do so after holding ‘four party talks’ with Kang Jae-sup, chairman of the GNP, and Kim Hyeong-oh, the party’s floor leader, in the party’s headquarters in Seoul, said Yoo Ki-jun, spokesman of the GNP.

Such a move signaled a positive sign that the party would address its crisis caused by the defeat in the by-elections on April 25 and concentrate on the primary election. The two met in 68 days after the last meeting for presidential aspirants hosted by the party’s leaders on February 25.

The spokesman said that Mr. Lee and Ms. Park consented to nine conditions related to the primary proposed by the party’s chairman in this meeting, which lasted about one hour.

The nine conditions the following: a fair and win-win primary election; policy discussions between May 22 and June 28; setting up an inspection committee; minimizing the members of each camp; punishing negative and illegal campaigns; holding a meeting for presidential contenders and the party’s leadership; delaying city council elections; controlling the overheating supreme council member elections; and setting rules for the primary election by the leadership.

Lee Myung-bak said in the meeting that, “I propose that representatives of the two camps and the GNP’s floor leader regularly meet. And if necessary, the two of us can hold a meeting.” Also, he added that, “I want to see the rules made as early as within this week by the party.” Besides, he emphasized that election fraud should be strictly chastised.

On the other hand, Park Geun-hye pointed out that, “Everyone should be verified and inspections should be made by the party, not by an individual. I totally commit the matter about the rules to the party’s chairman.” In the meantime, the former chairwoman indicated that she opposes changing the rules by saying, “Once rules are set, everyone should comply with them.”

However, details on the ways to reflect public opinion, which are the biggest sticking points in the rules, have not yet been discussed. In this meeting, Kang said to all participants that, “Today will be remembered as a special day to mark a fresh start for the GNP, and the general public will be pleased with that.”