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[Editorial] A National Convention Filled With Song

Posted February. 15, 2007 07:15,   


They were caught up in the past. They spoke of the future and of a new party, but their minds remained in the 70s and 80s when they fought against dictatorship.

Yesterday, the ruling Uri Party held a national convention to create a new political party. Former Chairman Kim Geun-tae, who stepped down as the chairman after eight months, sang a song from a student activist group that existed 25 years ago. The chairperson kept reminding people of the difficult times when they fought against dictatorship and for democracy.

Meanwhile, the chairperson announced how many delegates participated. The main focus of the convention was meeting quorum. People let out a sigh of relief on hearing, “6,617 people or 72.3 percent as of 2:30 p.m.” One lawmaker cried out, “Why do they keep talking about the quorum? It’s embarrassing.”

A further exodus of members is unlikely for the time being. A total of 31 members left the party. Three years and three months ago, the same people created a new party, confident that it would last for 100 years. The same people are seeking to create yet another one just a year before the current president’s term ends. It is literally an unprecedented event in the history of political parties in Korea.

The Uri Party once boasted of 152 seats in the National Assembly. Now, it only has just over 10 percent of support from the people. Uri Party members are to blame for the fall, as they refused to listen to the needs of the people, being obsessed with the reform drive of their own. Yet, they seem to think that they could beat the GNP by singing songs of the past. Their major concern is the GNP, not the people.