3 opposition parties close to by-elections alliance

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3 opposition parties close to by-elections alliance

Liberal opposition parties agreed yesterday to form a political alliance ahead of the July 28 by-elections in a move aimed at defeating ruling Grand National Party candidates in the races and blocking the Lee Myung-bak administration’s key development project along the nation’s big rivers.

After meeting yesterday, heads of the four opposition parties issued a statement demanding the government stop ongoing construction work along the four main rivers.

“The people already made clear their objection about spending 22 trillion won [$18 billion] for the four rivers project in the June 2 local elections,” they said.

The Democratic Party’s Chung Sye-kyun, People’s Participation Party’s Lee Jae-jung, Democratic Labor Party’s Kang Ki-kab and New Jinbo Party’s Roh Hoe-chan agreed that they will cooperate with the local government heads from the opposition to block the project from further progress.

Three of the four liberal opposition parties - the Democratic, Democratic Labor and People’s Participation parties - also agreed that they will form an alliance ahead of the by-elections and try to collectively field one candidate in races to increase their chances of winning.

A similar strategy proved very effective in June’s elections.

“The upcoming by-elections are an opportunity to judge the four rivers project,” Chung said. “President Lee, the GNP leadership and candidates must make clear their position about this issue ahead of the by-elections. The voters must also give the administration a red card over continuing the project.”

The GNP criticized the opposition parties for politicizing an important state project. “The opposition parties are too lazy to present solid policies and pledges,” said Representative Ko Heung-kil, GNP’s chief policy maker. “They are just engaged in a smear campaign to win votes.”

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