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Extremity in politics emerges as election day nears

Posted May. 02, 2017 07:06,   

Updated May. 02, 2017 07:21

With a week to go before the presidential election, presidential candidates and key figures of political parties are saying tough words. Although the regional concentration in votes and ideological confrontations have dissipated to some extent, politicians are using "extremity and exclusion" to get more votes. As the presidential by-election amid the strong confrontation between liberals and conservatives goes in the opposition direction to social integration, the post-election politics heralds the emergence of political confrontations.

Tough words attract tougher words, escalating tensions. Lee Hae-chan, a co-head of the election campaign committee of the Minjoo Party, said on Sunday, “We should thoroughly kill extremists and conservatives so that they would never meddle in this country’s affairs.” In response, Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party said on Monday, “It reminds me of the Killing Field of Cambodia. Do you remember his wickedness under the Roh Moo-hyun administration as prime minister?”

Hong’s tough words are also getting controversial. He talked about People's Party leader Park Jie-won on Monday, “He should no longer be a wicked person in Yeouido politics.” Park’s political life is soon over.” In addition, Hong said about a specific opinion research company, “I’ll get rid of it if I take power” and criticized leftist groups by calling them “The thieves.” ”It is an anti-democratic violent word commensurate with the descendant of the gang party that extorted tens of billions of won from companies,” said Park Gwang-on, a communication head of the Moon Jae-in camp of the Minjoo Party.

Moon said with Hong in mind, “They are putting their corruption and inability on laborers,” while he said tough words to Ahn, “What is more scary is that those who dream of a country with corruption and privileges by holding hands with those who created a country of corruption and privileges. We should never tolerate them.”

Targeting Moon, Ahn got more aggressive, saying, “When an election is over, Moon dumps those who helped him and they share power secretly. Will you let them do it?”

“Cooperation among political parties is essential to overcome the security and economic challenges that next president will face,” said Park Myung-ho, a politics professor of Dongguk University. “The side effects of extremity in politics will put pressure on the next administration.”

Jae-Myoung Lee egija@donga.com