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Kim hints at resignation in Saenuri row

Feb. 28, 2012 - 19:24 By Korea Herald
A key member of Saenuri Party’s leadership council Tuesday hinted at his resignation in a row over the party’s selection of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election.

“This will be the last (party) meeting I attend,” Kim Jong-in said during a meeting on party reforms. He had joined the ruling party’s emergency leadership council late last year, handpicked by party leader Park Geun-hye.

The former minister, while expressing frustration at the party’s reluctance to change, also criticized Park as being “ambiguous” about reform directions.

His remarks came a day after the conservative party’s candidate selection committee nominated Rep. Lee Jae-oh, a close ally of President Lee Myung-bak, as its candidate, despite his opposition.

Kim had openly called on the four-time lawmaker to step aside to take responsibility for the damage the president and his confidants have done to the party’s support.

He said that the Saenuri must part its ways with President Lee if it is to stand any chance to win the parliamentary and presidential elections this year.

“The fate of policy items (that I helped devise) depends on how many (Saenuri candidates) win a seat in the 19th parliament,” he said. “Watching the first list of candidates announced Monday, I didn’t receive an impression that party chief Park shares my concern and has the will to reflect it in candidate nomination.”

By Lee Sun-young (