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Governing Party Embarrassed over Internal Fiasco

Posted March. 26, 2008 03:03,   


Lawmaker Jung Doo-un (pictured) is known to have exercised influence to make 55 Grand National Party candidates for the general elections demand the resignation of National Assembly Vice Speaker Lee Sang-deuk.

“We urged Vice Speaker Lee Sang-deuk not to run in the general elections because former Supreme Council member Lee Jae-oh said he would also give up his candidacy,” Jung said. “Therefore, Lee Jae-oh’s decision to run is absurd.”

In a phone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, Jung said, “Originally, I was going to wrap it up after talking with Rep. Nam Kyung-pil, who asked Lee Sang-deuk not to run, and Lee Sang-deuk. But Lee Jae-oh called me late Saturday night saying he would give up running in the elections. In response, lawmakers representing the Seoul metropolitan area decided to back him up.”

When asked if Lee Jae-oh is pushing ahead with his candidacy because he confirms that President Lee Myung-bak does not want Vice Speaker Lee to quit election, Jung flatly said, “That is nonsense. [Lee Jae-oh] already knew that the president clearly did not want the vice speaker to give up running in the general elections.”

“I told Lee Jae-oh that we will lose everything if he runs in the elections.

After a couple of days of contemplation, however, he declared his candidacy. The situation has grown very serious in the capital area since a personnel matter created a problem. Yet, the situation has worsened after the nomination of the vice speaker.”

Prior to the interview, Jung told Yonhap News that the collective action of the 55 party members should be seen as a sacrifice by loyal retainers, saying they always win in the end though experiencing failure at times.

But many critics said the 55 candidates who threatened to drop out of the elections if Lee Sang-deuk stayed in the race were too quick to change direction.

One of the 55 said, “We will focus on the general elections for now. Our loyalty will be judged later.”

The group, which is largely made up of new politicians, is also under fire for engaging in a power struggle and not taking responsibility for what they said.

One GNP official said, “It does not look good as the candidates of the ruling party, who even criticized the president’s authority in personnel management, are now trying to pull themselves out.”