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GNP Leader Warns Against Complacency

Posted June. 09, 2006 07:16,   


“The enemy is on the inside; we might perish due to arrogance and self-complacence even after fighting against and beating the enemy.”

Chairwoman Park Geun-hye of the Grand National Party (GNP) made the remark on June 8 at a press briefing, which was the first time she met with journalists after being attacked in the middle of the campaign for the May 31 local elections. Despite the landslide victory that the party achieved in the elections, most of the talk was about discretion and prudence.

Park said, “We should never be complacent until we deliver on the promise we made to the people, win the presidential election and put the nation back on track.”

Park encouraged the party by making a similar remark in the supreme council meeting held in the morning of the day.

“Though we face the limits of being an opposition party, we should definitely keep our promises to the people and show them how we will run the nation after we take power. As the national football squad has to have the opportunity to play in the field in order to get evaluated, a party also needs to take power, get authority and fulfill policies to get evaluated,” stated Park.

In the press briefing, Park said, “What will the people think if we stick to our interests right after the local elections and concentrate on discussing when we will nominate our presidential candidate?”

Her remark was to refute the argument of Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak that the party needs to revise its rules of electing its presidential candidate six months before the presidential election and put off the selection of its candidate.

“The party’s innovation plan [that stipulates its presidential candidate be elected six months before the presidential election] was made after nine months of thorough discussions. It is not appropriate to revise it before trying it,” said Park. “I don’t understand why he is making such an argument at this point of time.”

She emphasized, “Presidential candidates of the ruling and opposition parties should be verified for the sake of the nation; if not, that would be deceiving the people.”

With regard to former Prime Minister Goh Kun’s announcement that he would pursue establishing the “People’s Solidarity for Hope” within July, Park said, “As I said before, I still believe [he is best suited for the GNP], but going for a new party is also his choice.”

Describing what she felt on the operating table after being assaulted, Park became emotional for a while when she said, “It occurred to me that both my father and mother had fallen victim to assassination.”

She said, “I might have departed this life, but I managed to survive. I felt that meant I should dedicate myself to making a country where people lead a wealthy and comfortable life as I wish.”

According to the party rules that a presidential candidate shall not possess any party position starting from one and a half years before the presidential election, Park will resign as the party’s chairwoman on June 16, which is a de facto declaration that she will run for the presidency.

Sung-Won Park swpark@donga.com