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[Editorial] Answers to the GNP Crisis Depend on Two Leading Figures

[Editorial] Answers to the GNP Crisis Depend on Two Leading Figures

Posted May. 01, 2007 03:04,   


Kang Jae-seop, chairman of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP), proposed measures to revitalize the party after its electoral defeat on April 25. “I staked my life on this job,” he said yesterday. During the lead up, he repeatedly shrugged off calls for his resignation, refusing to quit his job and saying that “as many as 10,000 party members chose me at a party convention.” However, considering his position and behavior, he failed to fulfill his duty as the person responsible for the party’s crisis.

The GNP has been involved in a series of money-for-nomination scandals since the local election on May 31 last year. However, only after the party lost the recent election did he lay out his belated proposals, one of which was to exclude people involved in the scandal from party nomination. Other measures included setting up a supervisory committee on negative campaigns, and attracting leaders most representative of the general public. If implemented properly, these actions will help the GNP to reform itself. Despite such measures, we suspect that they will turn out to be no more than empty promises. It is no wonder that the general public distrust the corruption-stricken GNP, which is obsessed with its own vested interests.

Those responsible for the party’s crises, before the chairman, are Lee Myung-bak, former mayor of Seoul, and Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the GNP; both of whom will run for office in the upcoming presidential election. Feuds between the two presidential hopefuls have provoked much unrest within the party and their relationship has turned so sour that many party members now talk of dividing the party. The two aspirants are said to have made damaging remarks or personal attacks against each other during their own private occasions. Moreover, the fact that supreme council of the party, including the chairman, participated in a party convention on June 10 last year with members of each camp undermines the fair and impartial management of the presidential election. In this regard, both Mr. Lee and Ms. Park should disband members with whom they have political connections.

They are not in a situation to blame each other for the party’s trouble. Without agreement among the two presidential hopefuls, revitalizing the party has virtually no basis. Therefore, they should work together for the future of the party and pursue fair play in the primary presidential election. This is the only way to address the current predicament and to best serve the general public. Narrow-minded politics will never win the hearts of voters.