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Coming Week Critical for GNP Presidential Bid

Posted November. 12, 2007 06:16,   


The upcoming presidential election is only 30 days away, but Grand National Party (GNP) presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak is still in a difficult situation due to former GNP chair Lee Hoi-chang’s presidential bid as well as conflicts with former GNP chair Park Geun-hye.

Under these circumstances, Lee is going all-out to gather support in the consideration that this upcoming week is a tipping point for his campaign.

He rushed to send a message of unity in a press conference yesterday to Park in order to find a solution to the situation, thinking that the coming week will largely determine his victory or defeat in the election.

Park said that she would announce her position today. This means that the situation for the coming week will depend on her position. If Park confirms her support for Lee Myung-bak, Lee will gain momentum in the race. Otherwise, the party might become more divided, and the presidential election picture might become more complex.

A senior member of the party said, “Lee Hoi-chang’s approval ratings now standing at around 20 percent in various polls could be impacted greatly by Park’s decision in the coming week.”

Lee Myung-bak is planning to continue his efforts to bring Park on board, regardless of Park’s response. In the same vein, he also plans to visit the birthplace of former President Park Jung-hee, Park’s father, before attending a party event to be held in Gumi, Gyeogbuk Province.

Another challenge before Lee Myung-bak is that Kim Kyung-joon, who has been named in the BBK scandal, is to be repatriated to Korea.

A close associate of Lee expressed his concern, saying, “If Kim keeps offering the false argument that Lee is involved with the BBK scandal, and if the prosecution lets him to do so or spread such arguments, various speculations will be more and more widespread.”

The GNP intends to wait and see how the prosecution deals with the issue, and will respond firmly through protest visits to the prosecutors’ office and protest rallies if there is any “strangeness” surrounding investigation by the prosecution.

The party is scheduled to hold a large protest rally against Lee Hoi-chang’s presidential bid and Kim’s repatriation in 16 cities and provinces, one after another, starting soon.

Moreover, the party plans to encourage its members to participate in various rallies held by conservative civic groups and intensify the mood for party events this coming week.