Go to contents

Internal Strife Brings UNDP`s Primary to a Halt

Posted October. 03, 2007 03:14,   


The United New Democratic Party announced that its primary has been officially put on hold yesterday. The party has been engulfed in internal feuds among its presidential contenders over the method of choosing the party’s presidential candidate.

The party leadership held an emergency meeting at the National Assembly yesterday morning. At the end of the meeting, the party decided to cancel the debates scheduled to be held yesterday and today.

Party leader Oh Chung-il explained, “We will arrange meetings for the candidates. We are also working on measures to prevent foul play during the campaign. Until our candidates agree on a new election method, we will put the primary on hold. Should they fail to reach an agreement that can live up to our expectations, the leadership may have to render an important decision to win the upcoming presidential election.”

The leadership is reportedly endeavoring to induce an agreement from the candidates. Even when they fail to agree, the party will precede with the primary as originally planned. Thus, the October 6 Deajeon debate will take place as scheduled.

However, two of the party’s candidates, former Gyeonggi Governor Sohn Hak-gyu and former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, would not back off. Arguing that it is impossible to investigate all the allegations of foul play concerning the primary procedure, they demanded that the continuance be extended to at least Sunday. Therefore, some experts caution that the halt may continue for longer than expected.

Seven other party lawmakers, such as Kim Yeong-chun and Lim Jong-seok, are also demanding the leadership suspend all procedures until the issues are resolved.

In response, front runner Jeong Dong-yeong brushed away the demands and allegations, through his spokesperson, saying, “The other two runners know neither of them will win the party nomination. That’s why they are demanding new rules. It’s disgusting and absurd.”

Senior party members such as Jeong Se-gyun and Yoo Jae-geon will meet today at a hotel in Seoul to discuss how to elicit a compromise from all the candidates.

sys1201@donga.com cij1999@donga.com