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Lee Gye-deok: “Only Quarrels Exist in Political Field”

Lee Gye-deok: “Only Quarrels Exist in Political Field”

Posted June. 24, 2005 05:54,   


It was confirmed yesterday that Lee Gye-deok (19), who was elected last February as a non-adult representative of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) and attracted a great deal of attention from the public, resigned from his post due to his frustrations on the reality of the political field.

Lee said in a phone interview with Dong-A Ilbo: “Within the party, there is nothing I can do any more. Ordinary people, who see what I do as politically intended, criticize my actions. This pushed me to decide to step down.”

Right after being elected, Lee suggested lowering the voting age to 18 and legalizing youth party memberships, which were accepted as part of the party’s agenda later on. However, since then, Lee’s voice has been rarely heard due to conflicts among groups within the party.

Lee also said, “Initially, I planned to work for a central youth committee. But after a certain group dominated the key positions of this committee, I saw it being engaged in serious conflicts with other groups. Not wanting to be involved in this row, I decided to work for local youth committees. But their lack of basic supporting mechanisms marred my new initiation.” He also added that it was very stressful to overlook the skewed eyes of people outside of the party on his activities.

“I criticized youth groups for their reckless fights that just led to repeated self-defamations. Even though this was completely irrelevant to my activities as a party member, people saw it as an expression of my greedy desire for political power and an action that ‘wannabe’ politicians often take. I want to define myself not as politician but as an individual,” said Lee. “I want to take a rest for a while. I don’t know precisely what I will do in the future right now.”

Myoung-Gun Lee gun43@donga.com