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[Editorial] What Chung Mong-jun Should Do as Presidential Candidate

[Editorial] What Chung Mong-jun Should Do as Presidential Candidate

Posted September. 17, 2002 23:04,   


Seeing independent lawmaker Chung Mong-jun make his official bid for the presidency, we are reminiscent of the late Chung Ju-yeong, his father and then honorary president of Hyndai in his presidential bid 10 years ago. The memory came back to our mind, not because he seems to have the same reason for the bid as his father. Rather, it is because what junior Chung should do before the presidential election not to repeat his father’s failure occurred to us.

First, he should have some people who can help him. It is said that just a few people appeared in the place where he made the official announcement for the presidential bid. He cannot deal with state affairs alone, however good he is at it. Although he said that he would bring together people enough to make a floor negotiation group in the National Assembly and create a new party, the order should have been the other way around. He should have make public his intention to run for the presidency after forming a new party. It is very dangerous if he tried to hold the office with his individual popularity. Presidential election is a process to select a whole government, not just the president.

Second, he should completely break with Hyundai. Even though he said that he would leave his stake in trust and do not exercise his right as a shareholder, we cannot shake off the suspicion that his promise would end up as a cover-up. In the past, senior Chung, who made his abandonment of his stake notarized, mobilized workers of Hyundai into his presidential campaign and made use of the company’s slush fund for it. And how did the Korean economy reel form the impact? If Rep. Chung does not dispose of his stocks, only few will believe his intention to separate politics and economics.

Last but not least, he should make clear his political identity. His political position has not been clear so far. In addition, the identity of the new party he is forming is obscure, too. Though he is persuading a lot of lawmakers into his fold, there is not any clear ideology or message to hole all those people. There is only a cause of “anti-Lee Hoi-chang” and “different from Rho Mu-hyeon,” if any. With this cause, he cannot be a leader whom Korea really needs at this time.