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[Editorial] End of Boss Politics

Posted January. 02, 2003 22:24,   


President Kim said today that he thought it was time for `Donggyo-dong` sect comprising his political protégés to be dissolved. The Donggyo-dong camp seems already on a path to demise as the politics enters a new era. The so-called boss politics is increasingly losing its ground in the rapidly changing political environment. Demise of the Donggyo-dong camp characterized by the imperialistic politics, then, is an inevitable course.

The camp, in fact, has already begun to be dissolved in terms of real politics. With Roo Moo-hyun elected as the next president, Han Hwa-gap, president of the Millennium Democratic Party and leading figure in the Donggyo-dong camp, had to give up his plan to run for the party`s presidency and others are also under fire from young-generation politicians who have been calling for a party reform. By proclaiming the end of the Donggyo-dong camp, President Kim is helping Roh push for a reform and sparing himself from criticism he will face after the retirement.

The Donggyo-dong camp, which has been there for DJ for the last 30 years, deserves praise for what they have achieved. They were two axes of the nation`s democratic movements along with the Sangdo-dong camp led by YS. The relationship within the group, a hierarchical one between the leader and his followers, were almost inevitable given the political environment at that time. The problem is that the two sects failed to depart from the past even after their leaders became the president of the country. They made big decisions and shared key positions among themselves.

Following the demise of the Sangdo-dong sect, it is now the Donggyo-dong`s turn, closing one chapter of the country`s political history. A new era calls for new politics. Yet, the dissolution of the Donggyo-dong camp will not do enough. A true reform, not mere window-dressing, can stop the old-fashioned politics from prevailing again. And time is running out. Once the coming general election becomes a big issue around the second half of this year, a reform will be put on a back burner. Both the ruling and opposition parties must accelerate their efforts.