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Ex-Ruling Party Chief Says No Again

Posted May. 09, 2009 17:40,   


The former chairwoman of the ruling Grand National Party, Park Geun-hye, told the party chairman’s chief secretary Thursday that she opposes the appointment of her confidant Kim Moo-sung as party floor leader.

Kim is a key member of the party’s pro-Park faction.

Park held a private meeting with Kim Hyo-jae at a San Francisco hotel from 9:50 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. Park was quoted as saying, “It’s not about procedures. It’s about principles. Principles have not changed.”

Even before the meeting, Park had expressed opposition to the idea of making Kim Moo-sung floor leader Wednesday, saying, “If the ruling party wants to get more popular with Koreans, it should play its role well. I oppose the idea of making Kim Moo-sung party floor leader since I don’t want to violate party rules and regulations.”

Kim Hyo-jae hurriedly left for the U.S. to explain to Park why the party wants to make Kim Moo-sung floor leader. After the meeting, the secretary said, “Grand National Party Chairman Park Hee-tae has made an all-out effort to reform the party. He might need more time to see progress. Since Park Geun-hye usually means what she says, I will return to Korea and deliver her opinion to Chairman Park.”

Rep. Yu Jeong-bok, Park Geun-hye`s former chief secretary, said, “Former party leader Park believes that what stands at the core of the problem is not intra-party rifts or disputes among factions, but measures to improve the ruling party’s performance.”

Kim Hyo-jae also told Park Geun-hye of the reconciliatory measures discussed at the closed meeting between President Lee Myung-bak and Park Hee-tae as well as measures to give significant positions to pro-Park Geun-hye figures when the Cabinet is reshuffled. Park Geun-hye could hold a meeting with Park Hee-tae after returning to Korea Monday.

Certain party leaders and pro-Park figures predict, however, that Kim Moo-sung could run for floor leader. In a phone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, a source close to Kim Moo-sung said, “Kim thinks the Lee Myung-bak administration is facing a crisis and the ruling Grand National Party urgently needs a chance of reconciliation. Accordingly, he wants to play the role of a bridge linking several factions and help the government lead the nation in a stable manner.”