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No Early GNP National Convention: Pres. Lee

Posted April. 12, 2008 03:52,   


In the wake of the April 9 parliamentary elections, President Lee Myung-bak on Friday requested that Grand National Party Chairman Kang Jae-sup see through his term in office until July to prepare the party for the upcoming 18th National Assembly.

“In a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae with the GNP party leadership, including Chairman Kang, President Lee expressed his hopes that GNP leader Kang would remain in his role until his term ends on July 11. The president pointed out the importance of fulfilling the political schedule as originally planned,” said presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan and GNP spokeswoman Cho Yun-seon.

Many experts believe that Lee’s opinion was nothing short of opposition to some suggestions calling for an earlier GNP national convention, scheduled for July.

Chairman Kang expressed willingness to accept the president’s request, according to spokeswoman Cho. Given this, it is expected that the suggestion for an earlier-than-scheduled GNP national convention will be scrapped and that Chairman Kang will hold the convention around July 11 to pick the GNP’s new leadership.

In an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Chairman Kang said, “It doesn’t make sense to hold the national convention after the new parliament starts,” indicating the possibility of an early national convention.

Meanwhile, President Lee and Chairman Kang agreed to make efforts to speed up the passage of pending bills related to public living standards, along with the ratification of the Korea-U.S. FTA during the upcoming parliamentary session in May. The ruling and opposition parties agreed to pass those bills in February but they still remain pending.

swpark@donga.com jkmas@donga.com