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Leadership of main opposition party under pressure to resign

Leadership of main opposition party under pressure to resign

Posted November. 03, 2012 07:46,   


The leadership of the main opposition Democratic Unity Party is under heavy pressure to resign.

Lee Jong-geol, a member of the party’s supreme council, is expected to step down soon following the resignation of fellow party member Kim Han-gill. Another party member, Choo Mi-ae, suggested that she will also quit.

Rep. Ahn Min-seok, a party member close to Lee, told a radio talk show, “When I advised Lee to step down from the supreme council, he said, ‘Let’s conclude the personnel reform quickly.’ I think Lee will resign soon.”

Many observers say that if three of the six elected members of the party’s top decision-making body step down, the party leadership will not last long.

Seven senior lawmakers of the party, including Lee Nak-yon, said after a luncheon meeting Friday that they would seriously consider the request by the party’s presidential candidate Moon Jae-in to leave the proposed reform up to him. The move is interpreted as pressure on the party leaders to step down and on Moon to make a decision on the issue.

Kim, who sparked the drive for the party’s reform by resigning, reiterated his call on party leaders to resign. He said on Twitter that the party can win the December presidential election only by leading political reform.

Moon reportedly plans to announce his position on the proposed reform. A member of his campaign committee said Moon was probably aware that while making party chairman Lee Hae-chan and floor leader Park Jie-won resign would prove burdensome, he would have more to lose by defending them.

The political reform committee of Moon’s camp postponed for the second day a planned news conference to urge party leaders to resign en masse, with chairman Jung Ha-gu saying, “We are watching the situation because Moon asked us to leave it up to him.”

On Friday, party chairman Lee attended a parliamentary committee session but made no schedule as the party’s head. Floor leader Park went to his hometown of Gwangju Thursday to drum up support for him, and also plans to tour the two Jeolla provinces.

An influential party lawmaker said, “Discussions are being held on making only Lee resign, as Park has a parliamentary situation to deal with and represents the Jeolla provinces.”

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