The Korea Herald


Pro-Lee lawmakers’ group will not split

By 배현정

Published : May 18, 2011 - 19:34

    • Link copied

President’s loyalists ignore internal pressure to give way to reform

The pro-Lee Myung-bak group within the ruling Grand National Party has decided not to disband, despite facing controversy after a by-election defeat and shuffle of in-party power.

“We have a historic mission yet to fulfill and a leading role to play in supporting the current government,” said Rep. An Kyung-ryul on Wednesday.

An formerly led “Together into the Future,” the leading social gathering of pro-Lee lawmakers, but earlier offered his resignation from his post. His successor is to be elected in next month’s parliamentary session.

Rep. Shim Jae-chul, the party’s former policy committee chairman, also contended that the meeting aimed at promoting policy research and should not be broken up for political reasons.

Some other members claimed the group had become more of a political faction than a social and academic gathering, saying that it should be disbanded for the sake of the party’s development, according to officials.

It is speculated that the meeting may not be as influential as it has been in the past.

Only 20 of 60 members attended the latest meeting, reflecting the division within the group.

Some observers speculated that the remaining 40 may also eventually pull out.

The meeting was established in 2008 by about 40 pro-Lee GNP lawmakers and has grown in recent years under the leadership of Lee Jae-oh, special affairs minister and close aide to the president.

But it faced challenges recently as the party suffered a crushing defeat to opposition parties in last month’s by-elections.

Following the results, the GNP immediately set to renewing itself and selected Rep. Hwang Woo-yea, a non-factional figure, as its new floor leader. Hwang is also acting as a proxy for the party chairman, whose post is to remain vacant until the election in early July.

By Bae Hyun-jung (