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Intraparty Feud over Candidate Selection

Posted January. 31, 2008 07:07,   


Former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye and incumbent Chairman Kang Jae-seop strongly opposed the GNP nomination screening committee’s decision to disqualify figures implicated in corruption and irregularities from applying for the party’s candidate nomination. In response, the screening committee has decided to review again whether it will apply the party’s constitution in the application process.

“In a meeting with Secretary General Lee Bang-ho, a committee member, I suggested that the committee review each application individually and not prohibit any candidate from applying for nomination. As a result, the committee has decided to discuss the matter again.” said GNP floor leader Ahn Sang-soo on Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Jeong Jong-bok, a senior member of the committee, said, “(The screening committee) has decided to reconvene at 3 p.m. Thursday to discuss whether to apply the party’s rules (in the application procedure).”

Sources say that Ahn Kang-min, chairman of the committee, requested the Supreme Council to amend the party’s regulations, saying, “It will be difficult to resolve the problem without revising the party’s constitution as it clearly forbids those involved in corruption and irregularities from nomination application.”

However, GNP leaders expressed opposition, saying, “If we revise the party’s constitution, our willingness to produce clean candidates will be tarnished.”

Meanwhile, GNP Supreme Council member Kim Moo-sung, who is on the verge of being left out of the nomination due to the committee’s decision, hinted bolting from the party on Wednesday. Kim said, “This is a premeditated political revenge. I will soon express my views on it.”

In response, a total of 35 GNP lawmakers close to former Chairwoman Park said on Wednesday, “We will share our political destiny with Rep. Kim.” Park also expressed her discontent in an interview with reporters on the same day, saying that the committee must not screen candidates to the taste of a particular faction.