Reformist reps take on party’s old guard

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Reformist reps take on party’s old guard

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A group of reformist lawmakers gather during an urgent meeting yesterday to challenge the outgoing Grand National Party leadership’s decision to name an emergency council. From left, Representatives Nam Kyung-pil, Kwon Young-jin, Jeong Tae-keun, Gu Sang-chan, Kim Sung-tae, Chung Doo-un and Kim Sung-sik. By Kim Sang-seon


The ruling Grand National Party’s attempt to recover from its recent by-election defeats faced resistance yesterday from pro-reform lawmakers who challenged the outgoing leadership’s plans to rejuvenate the party.

The seed of the feud was planted by the outgoing leadership, led by Ahn Sang-soo. Ahn and outgoing members of the GNP’s Supreme Council held a meeting Saturday and created a 13-member emergency council that will have authority over party affairs until a new leadership is elected in two months.

Representative Chung Ui-hwa, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, was named head of the emergency council.

Challenging Ahn’s move to name his own successor, seven reformist lawmakers held a meeting yesterday and declared that they will not accept the decision.

The lawmakers, who call themselves the “New GNP,” argued that the newly elected floor leader, Representative Hwang Woo-yea, should arrange a meeting of all GNP lawmakers to discuss how to form an emergency council.

“It is an act of deception to the people to allow the outgoing leadership to name its own successors,” Representative Gu Sang-chan, one of the seven lawmakers, said yesterday. “The people will never forgive us for this. We have to create a new emergency council.”

The reformist lawmakers also complained that Lee Myung-bak loyalists, who controlled the ruling party since the Lee administration began in 2008, were trying to hold on to their influence through the 13-member council.

Joining the protest was the newly elected floor leader Hwang. Hwang told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday that he will arrange a lawmakers’ meeting around Wednesday to make some changes to the formation of the emergency council.

Chung, however, said he has no intention of backing down.

“The emergency council was delegated to lead the party,” he said. “I will be leading the reform tasks to revamp the GNP, while the new floor leader will lead the lawmakers inside the legislature.”

Chung said he will try to talk with the reformists.

“If this power struggle continues in the party, and if we fail to unite, the situation will become really complex and the GNP will face a much deeper crisis,” Chung said.

As the GNP struggles to to improve its plummeting popularity by replacing its leadership, the Blue House is trying to redefine its relationship with the ruling party and its new floor leader.

According to Lee’s aides, the president has reacted calmly to the ruling party’s decision to elect Hwang, a centrist reformist, as their new floor leader. Hwang and running mate Representative Lee Ju-young, who became the GNP’s new chief policy maker, are considered outsiders, and Lee loyalists inside the ruling party were shocked that they were no longer in power.

“From now on, the Blue House and the administration needs to persuade me first if they need the GNP’s backing because I am the lawmakers’ messenger,” Hwang told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday. “I will strongly tell [Lee] about public sentiment.”

A presidential aide worried that the relationship between the ruling party and the Blue House won’t be as easy as it had been.

“It will be hard to win the party’s backing for sensitive bills as well as the budget bill,” he said, adding that concerns have grown inside the Blue House about the fate of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.

Another senior Blue House official, however, said Lee sees Hwang’s victory positively.

“If the party can successfully change and win the people’s support, that is also great for the president,” he said. “Lee is a pragmatist, and he admits to reality.”

Meanwhile, Ahn, the outgoing GNP chairman, held a press conference yesterday to announce his formal resignation.

In the press conference, Ahn gave unusually candid criticism of President Lee for lacking the ability to communicate with the people.

“I have repeatedly recommended that Lee improve his communication with the public,” Ahn said. “It is regretful that he lacks the efforts to relate to and persuade the people.”

He also said the administration’s political capability is weak.

“The government failed to read changing public sentiments and refused to listen to the party,” he said. “That must be improved.”

Ahn also warned that the GNP won’t be able to win the next legislative and presidential elections if the government continues to show a high-handed attitude and ignore the party’s opinions, which were formed based on public sentiment.


By Ser Myo-ja, Ko Jung-ae [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
한나라 주류-비주류 '비대위 구성' 충돌

차기 전당대회에서 새 지도부가 선출될 때까지 한나라당을 이끌어갈 비상대책위원회의를 놓고 주류와 비주류가 충돌했다.

당 최고위원회의가 7일 밤 비대위 구성을 발표하자 소장파가 8일 반기를 들면서 무난하게 넘어가는 듯 했던 비대위 구성이 헤게모니 싸움으로 치닫는 양상이다.

당 최고위가 7일 의결한 비대위는 친이(친이명박)계이면서도 계파색이 옅은 정의화 국회부의장을 위원장으로 총 13명(친이계 7명, 친박계 3명, 중립그룹 3명)으로 구성됐다.

그러나 당과 국정기조 쇄신을 내건 초ㆍ재선의원 모임인 '새로운 한나라'는 8일 오후 국회에서 모임을 갖고 절차상 문제가 있으니 황우여 원내대표가 당대표 권한대행으로서 의총을 소집, 비대위 인선을 새로 해야 한다는데 의견을 모았다.


한 의원은 "물러나는 지도부가 비대위를 구성하는 것은 옳지 않다"고 말했다.

이 모임의 소속은 아니지만 박민식 의원은 이날 트위터 글에서 "비대위 명단을 보니 없애야 할, 쇄신의 첫번째 대상인 계파를 금과옥조의 철칙으로 삼고 위원을 뽑은게 아닌지 심히 걱정된다"고 문제를 제기했다.

양측은 비대위의 성격에 대해서도 첨예한 견해차를 보이고 있다.

최고위는 '당대표는 최고위원회의 의결을 거쳐 특별기구를 설치할 수 있다'는 당헌 68조에 근거해 비대위가 최고위를, 정의화 비대위원장은 안상수 대표를 대신할 수 있다는 주장이다.

그러나 소장파는 '당대표가 사고ㆍ해외출장 등으로 인해 직무를 수행할 수 없을 때에는 원내대표, 최고위원 등이 대행한다'는 당헌 30조에 따라 최고위의 통상적 결정 및 당대표 역할을 황우여 원내대표가 대행할 수 있다는 입장이다.

비대위의 업무범위와 관련해서도 최고위는 '최고위 통상업무 및 전당대회 준비 관련 업무'로 규정했다.

그러나 소장파 상당수는 비대위가 대권.당권 분리조항 개정, 당대표와 최고위원 선거 분리 등 쇄신 방안까지 마련해야 한다고 주장한 것으로 알려졌다.

이 같은 문제는 4.27 재보선 패배후 지도부 사퇴에 따른 임시 지도부의 체제가 '투톱(two top)'으로 짜여진데서 비롯됐다는 지적이다.

작년 6.2 지방선거 패배 후 비대위 체제에서 김무성 당시 원내대표가 비대위원장을 겸직했던 '원톱' 체제가 아닌데다 주류.비주류간 주도권 경쟁까지 얽히다보니 대립구도가 됐다는 것이다.

당 최고위에서는 지난달 원내대표가 비대위원장을 맡는 방안도 거론됐으나 당시 대부분 최고위원이 반대해 '당무는 비대위원장이, 국회 업무는 원내대표가 맡는다'는 것으로 교통정리가 됐었다.

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