Opposition vows to unite, battle Lee’s projects

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Opposition vows to unite, battle Lee’s projects

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Newly elected mayors, governors and leaders of the Democratic Party pay tribute at former President Roh Moo-hyun’s grave yesterday in Bongha village, located in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang. From left in the front row: Kang Woon-tae (Gwangju mayor), Song Young-gil (Incheon mayor), DP Chairman Chung Sye-kyun, An Hee-jung (South Chungcheong governor), Kim Du-kwan (South Gyeongsang governor) and Moon Jae-in (former chief of staff to Roh). [NEWSIS]

In an effort to keep the political momentum after its big win in this week’s local elections, the Democratic Party leadership vowed to continue its alliance with other liberal parties yesterday to challenge policies of the Lee Myung-bak administration and the ruling Grand National Party.

The DP’s leadership and newly elected mayors and governors also visited yesterday the graves of the late former presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang.

After paying his respects at Kim’s grave, Democratic Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun said the former president first taught the liberals how to unite during elections, and vowed the opposition alliance will continue in order to resolve what he called a crisis in the country’s democracy, difficulties some Koreans have in making a living, and inter-Korean relations.

Within the opposition camp, more people called yesterday for a full-blown merger of the DP and the People’s Participation Party, formed by Roh royalists who bolted from the DP in January.

Representative Kim Jin-pyo, who backed the PPP’s Rhyu Si-min in the Gyeonggi governor race, said it was crucial for the two parties to merge to uphold the philosophies of the two late former presidents.

Representative Jun Byung-hun, chief strategist of the DP, also said yesterday in a radio interview that the two parties must unite to stop the GNP’s dominance.

In a media briefing yesterday, DP spokesman Woo Sang-ho demanded the Lee administration and the GNP scrap the four major rivers restoration project and the plan to revise the Sejong City development plan.

Woo said the liberal mayors of metropolitan cities and governors of provinces will form a consultative body to block Lee’s signature projects.

“Since construction is ongoing, we cannot just scrap everything about the four rivers project,” Woo said. “But we will try to change its direction in order to focus on water quality improvement and flood prevention, not building cross-country canals.”

Woo also urged Lee to give up his “high-handed” governance style, adding that reshuffles in the cabinet and the Blue House secretariat will be meaningless without the president changing his own ways.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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