중앙데일리

GNP primary set to begin today

May 21,2007
Will it be the former mayor or the former chairwoman of the party?
Regardless of which favorite wins the Grand National presidential primary, the starting gun is expected to be fired today in the race between Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, when the party’s National Committee passes the rules for the upcoming primary. Once those rules are set, candidates can officially register for the campaign.
Although other candidates could register, here is a look at the teams that each of the two favorites are assembling for battle.

Lee Myung-bak
Lee’s team spent time in City Hall

Lee Myung-bak’s team is often called the “Hi Seoul Camp,” after the slogan created during Lee’s tenure as mayor of the capital city. Most of his close aides now were senior staff members while he was mayor, from 2002 to 2006. They worked with Lee to create the Cheonggye Stream and the giant patch of greenery in the city called Seoul Forest.
Jeong Tae-keun and Lee Chun-sik, both former deputy Seoul mayors, are in charge of Lee’s cyberspace campaign activities. Other important campaign staff members, also from the mayoral days, are Park Young-jun, Kang Seung-kyoo and Cho Hae-jin.
Lee also recently began to recruit experts from other sectors of society. For example, Shin Jae-min, a former chief editor of the Weekly Chosun, will write Lee’s speeches.
Grand National Party lawmakers Lee Jae-oh and Chung Doo-un have also joined the campaign.
The lawmaker Lee is known for his skills in handling political crises, Grand National Party lawmakers say. He and the candidate Lee shared a similar political stance in the 1960s, when they participated in student demonstrations against former president Park Chung Hee’s decision to normalize relations between Korea and Japan. Lee Jae-oh is a candidate for vice chairman of Lee Myung-bak’s official election campaign, insiders say, while lawmaker Park Hee-tae has already been appointed head of the campaign.
Chung Doo-un, another one of Lee Myung-bak’s favorites, will handle promotion and publicity activities. Chung represented Lee in a debate two months ago organized by JoongAng Sunday.
By all accounts, however, the person with the biggest influence does not have a title. That’s Lee Myung-bak’s older brother, Lee Sang-deuk, a National Assembly deputy speaker and a senior legislator.
The older Lee does not have an official post in his brother’s camp and usually keeps a low profile. But he is often said to be the mentor that the former mayor turns to for important advice, according to party insiders. When Lee stepped back last week and agreed to fix the amended primary rules again, his older brother is the one who persuaded him to make the decision, local media reported, while the hard-liners in his camp advised him to never concede to his opponent.

Longtime lawmakers help Park

Park Geun-hye
While Lee Myung-bak looks to his brother, Park Geun-hye is said to be very dependent on Kim Ki-choon, a senior legislator who has been closely connected with Park’s family, including her father, the former president Park Chung Hee.
Park and Kim share a long history. While at Seoul National University, Kim received the Chung-Su scholarship fund, an academic award which still exists, It was named after former President Park and First Lady Yook Yeong-su. Kim also later served as president of the Chung-Su recipients club. The younger Park had a special affection for that club and participated in regular gatherings, even after her father was assassinated in 1979.
The new chairman of her campaign team is expected to be Ahn Byeong-hun, the former vice president of the Chosun Ilbo and director of the LG Sangnam Press Foundation. He is a Seoul National graduate who majored in law and is a member of the class of 1961, which means he is a classmate of Lee’s campaign chairman, Park Hee-tae.
In the debate, Yoo Seong-min represented Park and challenged Chung Doo-un on Lee’s side. Yoo and Chung were both first-time legislators and economics majors at Seoul National University. Five years ago, they were both aides to Lee Hoi-chang, a Grand National Party presidential candidate who ran against President Roh Moo-hyun.
But the two separated last year when they clashed during the drawing of the rules for the party primary.
In 2005, Yoo served as Park’s secretary. His main job now is to write speeches for her. He is also in charge of the group of advisory professors that counsel her. It’s his job to examine the policies before they get released.
Park’s camp is particularly cautious of their leader’s safety these days. Park sustained 60 stitches on her face after being attacked last year before giving a public speech by a man who said he was angry with the Grand National Party. The man, Ji Chung-ho, 50, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for the attack.
Park now has four martial arts professionals as bodyguards.
While Lee asked a private security service to look after him, Park’s camp held a special tryout to select her bodyguards.
The bodyguard who stands the closest to her is a female martial arts expert.


By Lee Min-a Staff Writer [mina@joongang.co.kr]


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장