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GNP Asks Park`s Support for Lee Myung-bak

Posted November. 09, 2007 07:50,   


Grand National Party Chairman Kang Jae-seop said yesterday, “As Supreme Council member Lee Jae-oh resigned to assume responsibility for his behavior and to show his sincerity for the sake of our party’s unity, it is former Chair Park Geun-hye’s turn to break her silence and actively participate in the party’s activities.”

Kang said in an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo that day, “If Park keeps silent in this situation, she will be subject to suspicions that she might look for an opportunity to support Lee Hoi-chang.”

At a press conference at the GNP headquarters in Seoul, Kang said, “Lee Hoi-chang’s presidential bid betrayed his promise to retire from politics. It is not only the culmination of all kinds of old, negative politics, but also a coup.”

He also warned that, “If there is any party member connected with Lee Hoi-chang, we will view such behavior as damaging to the party and respond sternly.”

Lee Jae-oh, a member of the party’s Supreme Council, stepped down from his post, saying, “I’ll serve the party as a rank-and-file member.”

However, Park’s close associate said, “Lee’s resignation does not automatically bring unity to the party. It is only the first step.”

Meanwhile, GNP presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak cancelled all his scheduled events through the weekend and decided to take time off to reflect on ways to heal the rift within the party. He is scheduled to hold a press conference on November 11 to reveal his future plans.

Lee Myung-bak met with a Dong-A Ilbo reporter yesterday in Seoul. When asked, “Have you agreed on ways to resolve the conflict with Park’s camp?” he answered: “I believe we’ll be able to agree on the broad outlines.”

A senior member of the party said, “Presidential candidate Lee recently asked Park to become a joint chief of the party’s election committee for the unity of the party.”

Park is reportedly weighing attending a party event scheduled for November 12 in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province.

taylor55@donga.com mhpark@donga.com