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Local Elections Winners Oppose Gov`t Plans

Posted June. 07, 2010 13:37,   


Signs of confrontation have emerged between the central government and mayor and governor-elects from opposition parties elected in Wednesday`s local elections, along with aides to the late former President Roh Moo-hyun.

The dispute is over key policies pursued by the administration, such as making revisions to the original Sejong City development plan and restoration of the country`s four major rivers.

Daejeon Mayor-elect Yeom Hong-chul, South Chungcheong Governor-elect Ahn Hee-jung, and North Chungcheong Governor-elect Lee Si-jong announced Sunday that they agreed to issue a statement Tuesday afternoon demanding that the original Sejong plan be pursued at the Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency in South Chungcheong Province. Lee reportedly proposed the trilateral meeting and Ahn is in charge of drafting the statement.

Lee said, “The elections clearly showed what the people of our province want and the statement will consequently demand that the government push ahead with the original plan. We chose Sejong City as our first joint agenda since it is the most pending issue in the province.”

Earlier Saturday, Ahn said in the ceremony of dissolving the main opposition Democratic Party`s committee for the South Chungcheong Province governor election in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, “President Lee Myung-bak will face great misfortune if he fails to meet the needs of the region`s voters as shown in the elections. I`ll officially demand that the government scrap the revision to the Sejong City development plan together with the Daejeon mayor and North Chungcheong Province governor.”

Expressing a joint commitment to stop the river restoration project, he added, “South Gyeongsang Governor-elect Kim Doo-kwan, South Jeolla Governor Park Joon-young, Gwangju Mayor-elect Kang Un-tae and I are together with the people in their concerns over the four-river restoration project and their demand for its suspension. We will ask the government to suspend and reconsider the project altogether soon.”

Reaching a consensus within the Democratic Party over the river restoration project could prove challenging, as certain leaders in the Honam region want to refurbish the river areas.

mhjee@donga.com straw825@donga.com