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New Party Off to Shaking Start Amid Criticism

Posted August. 06, 2007 03:04,   


The pan-ruling forces officially launched the United New Democratic Party (UNDP) by holding a party convention at the Olympic Hall of Olympic Park located in Bangi-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul on Sunday.

The UNDP consists of a total of 85 members: 61 are defectors from the ruling Uri Party, 19 are in a group led by Kim Han-gil, who was an ex-member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), and 5 are former UDP lawmakers.

Accordingly, the UNDP has become the second largest party following the Grand National Party (129 seats). However, it is pointed out that the UNDP is almost the same as Uri Party.

If the Uri Party (58 benches) joins the new party, the UNDP will become the largest party with 143 benches.

At the party convention yesterday, Oh Choong-il, head of the joint party establishment preparation committee, was selected to be the chairman of UNDP; Lee Mi-kyung, Cho Il-hyun, ex-lawmaker Jeong Gyun-hwan, and former presidential sustainable development commission head Kim Sang-hee, and president of Green Hospital Yang Gil-seung were also selected as joint party officials.

The UNDP determined it would adopt “party versus party” methods in moving forward with its plan to merge with the Uri Party.

Also, rather than devoting itself to the persuasion of the UDP, it has decided to get together with other political parties that show positive reactions toward merging with the UNDP.

Na Kyung-won, spokeswoman of the Grand National Party, criticized the formation of the UNDP, saying, “There is no one who thinks of a sloppily-established party without a framework for existence as a valuable one. It is reckless for such a sloppily-established party to face the zeitgeist of wishing for a change of power as it is for a mantis to stop a wagon.”