Kim Dae Jung Spurns Call for a Reunited Opposition

Associated Press

Opposition leader Kim Dae Jung on Thursday rejected a call to reunite the opposition and confidently predicted that his party will score a major victory in forthcoming legislative and local elections.

Kim said that he turned down Wednesday’s call by rival opposition leader Kim Young Sam because their two parties are incompatible.

“The classes that the two parties represent are different and their ideologies are different, therefore I am not considering a party-to-party merger,” Kim Dae Jung told reporters.

The two Kims split the opposition vote when each insisted on running for president in an election Dec. 16. Ruling party candidate Roh Tae Woo won with a fraction under 37% of the vote.


‘Overwhelming Victory’

Kim Dae Jung, 62, said he is confident that National Assembly elections will redeem his Party for Peace and Democracy after its presidential election defeat.

He is in control of his party and will have full responsibility for leading it in the assembly elections, scheduled to be held by next April, he said. He also predicted that his party would win local elections here in Seoul, which are expected to be held by mid-1988.

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Meanwhile, Kim Young Sam declined to comment further on his call for reunifying the opposition. He had called for the Peace and Democracy party, which had broken away in October, to return to the Reunification Democratic Party, headed by Kim Young Sam.

The opposition has charged that the government used massive fraud to win the presidential election but has provided little evidence. Opposition calls for massive protests after the election were largely ignored.

Roh is scheduled to take office Feb. 25.