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[Editorial] Pan-Ruling Party’s Ridiculous Efforts to Find a Presidential Candidate

[Editorial] Pan-Ruling Party’s Ridiculous Efforts to Find a Presidential Candidate

Posted May. 17, 2007 03:57,   


The recent move by the so-called “pan-ruling party” to find an alternative candidate to former Seoul National University President Chung Un-chan is getting ridiculous by the day. After going through days of despair since Chung’s declaration not to run for presidency, those pan-ruling party forces who are against President Roh Moo-hyun as well as the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) are now considering President Park Hae-chun of Woori Bank as their possible presidential candidate. In his recent interview with a daily newspaper, Executive Advisor Chung Dae-chul of the ruling Uri Party said, “There are [possible presidential candidates such as] former Gyeonggi Governor Sohn Hak-kyu, Yuhan Kimberly President Moon Kuk-hyun from outside the party, and former party chairmen Chung Dong-young and Kim Geun-tae and former Prime Minister Han Myung-sook within the party. However, we should keep our doors wide open and look for ‘alternatives’ to Chung Un-chan.” One of the possible alternatives, he implies, would be Park. A native of Chungcheong Province (Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province), he has a good background for devising a strategy for an alliance between Jeolla and Chungcheong provinces. It is even said that his academic background (Yonsei University) and career (financial industry) are a good match to those of former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak (Korea University; construction industry).

Even for the standard of Korean politics—which has been considered by the public to be more of a comedy show—this is something absolutely intolerable. Someone may ask, “Then who is eligible and who is not?” but for a person to become a presidential candidate of the country, there should be at least a small degree of consensus, “Given the path that he has taken, he deserves to be a political leader.”

Having started his career in an insurance company and served as the president of a credit card company, Park has been in charge of the management of Woori Bank for only less than two months. It has never been heard that he intends to enter politics. Even within the pan-ruling party, few are aware of who he is, so it is said they ask each other, “Who is Park Hae-chun?”

These days, even entertainment agencies do not pick up their future stars in this manner. They have road managers who take care of every action of stars and team managers supervising the road managers, and they go through several phases of analyses and verifications to find the best talent and make every effort to transform them into stars.

If the pan-ruling party forces were trying to present these alternatives simply as “kindling wood” for their success in the upcoming presidential election, their move is all the more unforgivable; it would be an insult to the citizens and politics. When breaking away from the Democratic Party in 2003, the Uri Party handed over 4.3 billion won in debts from the presidential election to their former colleagues. If it were an individual, it would have already become a credit delinquent. Now it is even mentioning the possible dissolution of the party, seeking to make a “false application for bankruptcy.” That party is now referring to a person that even its members do not know well as a possible presidential candidate, so it seems the party has definitely gone the limit.