Meeting comes as GNP is embroiled in leadership crisis
President Lee Myung-bak will meet with the ruling party’s factional leader and strongest presidential hopeful Rep. Park Geun-hye this Friday, Lee’s aide said Tuesday, 10 months after their previous meeting in August last year.
During the luncheon meeting with Lee, the former chairwoman of the Grand National Party will discuss the outcome of her trip to the Netherlands, Portugal and Greece as his special envoy as well as other state affairs, Lee’s aide for public relations Hong Sang-pyo said.
Lee Myung-bak Park Geun-hye
“President Lee has invited former chairperson Park to Cheong Wa Dae on Friday to exchange views on a wide range of state affairs,” Hong said in a briefing.
“The president will receive a report on the trip during his luncheon meeting with former chairwoman Park and four GNP assemblymen Reps. Kwon Young-se, Kwon Kyung-seok, Lee Hak-jae and Lee Jung-hyun who accompanied her to Europe.”
Lee will also hold a one-on-one meeting with Park to discuss pending issues of state affairs and politics, according to Hong.
“The two are expected to exchange views on pending issues of state affairs such as the current political situations as well as topics related to the nation’s future,” the presidential aide said.
The Lee-Park meeting on Friday will be the seventh since Lee took office more than three years ago in early 2008.
Park traveled to the three European countries between April 28 and May 8.
Park has been Lee’s political archrival ever since the two competed for the GNP’s presidential candidacy ticket in 2007. Leading a minor GNP faction that accounts for a third of the party’s legislators, Park has opposed some of the Lee administration’s key policies after members of her faction were denied the party’s candidacy in the 2008 general elections, four months after the presidential race.
The GNP is scrambling to renew its leadership at the national convention on July 4. Under the newly elected leadership, the GNP will nominate candidates who will run in the April general elections next year, while grooming and selecting its presidential frontrunners ahead of the December presidential elections next year.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com