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[Editorial] Eyes Are on Competition for GNP Chairmanship

[Editorial] Eyes Are on Competition for GNP Chairmanship

Posted June. 12, 2003 21:39,   


In competition for the chairman post of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP), six candidates will have the first debate session today. Korean people would pay more attention to how the opposition party can change through this opportunity than who will be the next party chairman.

Though the GNP were defeated twice in the previous presidential elections, it has failed to show renovation, stuck to its past as a ruling party. It is a majority party that controls a majority of the National Assembly seats, but it has given the impression that it is bent on getting benefits from the ruling party`s errors and mistakes, rather than actively participating in administration. Even though the Roh Moo-hyun government`s popularity is falling, and the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) is embroiled in internal feud over the creation of a new party, the GNP lags behind the MDP in popularity ratings.

The competition for the party leadership is an important test that can decide whether the party will come to power in the next election or it will just remain as an opposition party. The first step to regain power is a fair election. In the past, party chairman candidates were engaged in mudslinging, defamation, and bribery. At this time, if the current candidates do the same things, people will expect a gloomy future for the GNP, regardless of which candidate wins the competition.

The next step is to provid a clear vision. First, the candidates should reflect on the fallen status of the majority party. They cannot gain confidence of the public just by rhetoric. Also, they should offer reform plans to turn a party based on support from specific regions into a national party. As a healthy conservative party, the GNP should show leadership, thereby proving that it can be an alternative to the incumbent government.

In particular, when the political world is in a chaotic condition and a nation feels a sense of urgency for the future, an opposition party capable of being an alternative to the ruling party is urgently needed. Though the competition for leadership, the GNP should show it can live up to such demand of the public. Eyes are on the leadership competition of the GNP.