Go to contents

[Editorial] GNP Members` Defection Confuses Public

Posted July. 06, 2003 21:54,   


Five reformist members of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) have reportedly announced their defection from the party. It is said that they will join forces with reformist splinter faction within the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and reformist forces outside the political arena in order to create a new party. However, the public does not seem to fully accept the nature and purpose of the new party.

Whether they are ruling party members or opposition members, for lawmakers to depart from their own party is tantamount to self-denial, a kind of retreat from their political activities. It is also seen as a betrayal to voters who cast their ballot for the lawmakers, not because of the lawmakers themselves, but because of the party to which they belong. Whenever upcoming parliamentary elections are announced, there is debate over a new party and political regrouping occurs. This shows the political backwardness in Korea.

However, the GNP need not take the defections negatively. With the emergence of the new leadership of Choe Byung-yul, there are voices heard from within the party to ask the party to be newly born into a "healthy, conservative party." In other words, the defection could work as an engine which may force change.

The defectors have had different opinions from the rest of the GNP members, so the party’s identity has not been clear, being neither a conservative or reformist party. Therefore, the defection, though reducing the number of its National Assembly seats, will be helpful in establishing the GNP`s identity.

Also, the ruling party, which has been engaged in an internal feud over the creation of the new party, should come to a conclusion soon. The public has been turned off towards the MDP, which puts aside what it should do as a ruling party and just creates discord. Those who want to defect from the party should do so as soon as possible, as it might be better for the party’s identity.

Now, the nation is in trouble at home and abroad. The crisis resulting from North Korea’s nuclear weapons development is far from being resolved and the Korean economy is slowing down. However, the political community is not carrying out its duties - even not passing bills that it should do at the National Assembly. Political circles should bring this confusing political situation back to normal as soon as possible.