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[Editorial] Time For GNP To Roll Up Sleeves To Create New Leadership

[Editorial] Time For GNP To Roll Up Sleeves To Create New Leadership

Posted January. 29, 2003 22:31,   


Grand National Party`s leader Suh Chung-won announced that he would step down. His resignation is expected to silence one center piece of the intraparty disputes arising out of its reform drive. Suh said that he would resign, taking responsibility for the defeat in the last presidential election and the party`s foiled effort to overturn the election result through recounting. His excuses, however, do not sound convincing. They feel flimsy. The party seems to have lost all the momentum for reform in the process of finger-pointing following the party`s loss in the last election.

What really bothers the party members is not the hardship they face now; they feel devastated seeing no certainty in the future. First, they have not found, in place of former chairman Lee Hui-chang, any center force around which they could get together. Furthermore, at least for now, the party members do not see any promising hopeful who could guarantee them a chance in the next presidential election in five years. These factors seem to worsen their feeling of devastation.

The only way out of feeling an underdog lies in creation of a new leadership that could live up to the exceptions of the public in this new era. The outgoing leadership of the party must have known better. Nonetheless, the leadership attempted to bottle up the party`s demand for rebirth and even filed a lawsuit for recounting to maintain its leverage. How shameful and selfish they are!

Now, the Grand National Party should realize that a new leadership is no longer given or discovered by others; rather, it is the party members themselves who should create and foster it. GNP members could learn a lesson from the Millennium Democratic Party. Only about a year ago, no Millennium Democratics would have thought that Roh Moo-hyun would be the next president, leading the MDP for another 5 years.

The GNP is well up to the job. It has a much wider pool of able people than the MDP. The creation and rebirth efforts, however, demand them to undergo a fierce struggle to find out where and who they are. The GNP should revamp itself insofar as it does not lose its character of a conservative party. In the process, it may go through minor conflicts. Without the conflicts, however, the GNP would be not reborn. The conflicts will eventually bring about a new leadership for it.

Nonetheless, all we can hear about the GNP`s post-Suh era is the expected, fierce intraparty power struggle for the chairmanship. If the GNP, engulfed in various forms of power struggle, fails to reform itself, our citizens will turn their back on it again in five years. It should pay a careful attention to the diagnosis that the GNP did not lose the election to the MDP; it lost it to the new era. GNP`s failure in reformation, innovation and creation of a new leadership will put the party on the flowing water of this age and let it go without giving it any opportunity to come back.