Governor-elect plans opposition alliance

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Governor-elect plans opposition alliance

South Chungcheong Governor-elect An Hee-jung said he will form a joint regional alliance with opposition-party mayors and governors in Gangwon, Gwangju, Incheon, North and South Chungcheong and South Gyeongsang in an effort to force President Lee Myung-bak to retract or reconsider his flagship projects.

“If President Lee Myung-bak doesn’t accept the public sentiment shown by the votes in the June 2 local elections, he will become very miserable,” An said Saturday. “Voters have expressed their opposition to the four rivers restoration and Sejong City projects. The press asks me how I’ll act, but I will determine my course of action depending on how he reacts to the public sentiment.”

An said newly elected governors from the Democratic, Democratic Labor, Liberty Forward and other parties will act together to make their voices heard in the administration. Among his allies are North Chungcheong Governor-elect Lee Si-jong of the DP and Daejeon Mayor-elect Yum Hong-chul of the Liberty Forward Party, both of whom oppose Lee’s four rivers project and his plan to downgrade the redevelopment of Sejong City from a new administrative city to a business, science and education hub.

The leaders governing the Chung-cheong provinces will meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. in front of the Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency in South Chungcheong, which manages the Sejong City project, to read a joint request that Lee withdraw his Sejong City revisions.

“We will urge [the Lee Myung-bak administration] to push the original Sejong City project and not the revised version, as the results of the election clearly reflect the wishes of Chung-cheong residents,” An said. “This is at the top of our agenda because it is the most hotly debated issue here.”

In addition, An said South Gyeong-sang Governor-elect Kim Du-kwan, South Jeolla Governor Park Joon-young, and Gwangju Mayor-elect Kang Woon-tae will act on public concerns about the four rivers project.

“We will soon demand the government completely halt and review the project,” An said.

Woo Ui-yeong, a spokesman for the minor opposition Democratic Labor Party, said a plan to establish cooperation between the local governments will take shape when the newly elected mayors and provincial governors are sworn into office on July 1.

The Sejong City project was originally proposed by Roh Moo-hyun when he was a presidential candidate in 2002. The initial blueprint called to relocate government offices to Sejong City in South Chungcheong. Lee, Roh’s successor, ignited controversy last year by announcing that the program would foster government inefficiency. Lee’s proposal to rewrite the plan to create a self-sufficient science, education and business hub met fierce protest from Chungcheong residents and opposition parties.

Meanwhile, after their success in banding together with minor opposition parties to defeat the ruling Grand National Party in the June 2 elections, winners from the Democratic Party said they will include members of the opposition parties in their local government transition teams.

Gangwon Governor-elect Lee Kwang-jae - who beat his GNP opponent after Democratic Labor Party candidate Eom Jae-cheol threw his resources behind Lee’s bid - plans to include DLP members in his transition team and work with them to structure policies to run the region. Separately, DP floor leader Park Jie-won said his party will set up a committee for local governments to “serve as a bridge that coordinates policy between the party, local council, and local governments.”


By Kim Mi-ju, Kang Min-seok [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
Related Korean Article

야권, 지방공동정부 인수위 구성 착수


휴일인 5일 진보신당 인천시당은 ‘송영길 인천시장 당선자는 송도국제병원 건립을 즉각 취소해야 한다’는 보도자료를 냈다. 안상수(한나라당) 인천시장이 추진해온 존스홉킨스 병원의 송도 유치와 관련, 진보신당은 “외국자본이든 국내자본이든 영리병원은 안 되며 외국 영리병원의 내국인 진료는 금지돼야 한다”고 주장했다.

진보신당은 야권의 인천시장 후보 단일화에는 참가하지 않았다. 그러나 단일화의 한 축이었던 민주노동당 인천시당이 외국 영리병원의 설립에 반대하는 입장이어서 송도국제병원은 다시 찬반논란에 휩싸이게 될 전망이다.

 지방정권 교체에 따라 송도국제병원이 무산될 경우 세계 최상급의 교육·의료 서비스를 갖춘 글로벌비즈니스타운이라는 송도의 밑그림부터 흔들리게 된다. 이에 대해 송 당선자 측 관계자는 “일부에서 요구한다 해서 받아들여지는 것은 아니다”며 “인수위의 종합적인 검토를 거쳐 결정할 문제”라고 말했다.

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