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[Editorial] Roh, DJ Join Forces to Reassume Power

Posted May. 22, 2007 03:22,   


In a meeting with civic group members in Gwangju on May 19, President Roh Moo-hyun said, “The most important thing in politics is a great cause, but the next most important is the general trend.” He added, “I will not be involved in politics that are against the general trend of an organization to which I belong.” This is exactly the opposite of what he mentioned the previous day in a commemoration speech of the 5.18 Democratic Movement: “Any discussion on the integration of the pan-ruling party side and the Democratic Party is a retreat to regionalism.”

On the same day, after a visit to Germany, former president Kim Dae-jung (DJ) said, “What the Korean people want is a two-party system,” putting emphasis on the integration of pan-ruling party supporters, which has been his long-term theory. Yesterday, DJ encouraged Sohn Hak-gyu, a former governor of Gyeonggi Province, saying, “North Korea seems to be interested in Mr. Sohn.” Mr. Sohn has been a self-proclaimed successor of DJ’s “sunshine policy”

So far, President Roh has been focusing on the “identity of the Uri Party” as opposed to regional integration, whereas DJ has taken a more flexible stance, claiming, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a white cat or a black cat as long as it catches a rat (the Grand National Party).” These two are now in chorus and have put themselves at the forefront of a grand integration plan because discussions on forming a new party have been going at a snail’s pace, which will in turn lead to a utter disruption of the pan-ruling camps. No doubt, this will lead to a defeat for the ruling party, and these two men are now feeling a desperate urgency.

The steps these two are taking, however, are nothing new. It is inferior politics because what they are doing is unifying anti-GNP forces regardless of their ideologies, regions, and characters only to maintain pro-Roh sentiment and the ‘sunshine policy.’ This is typical of DJ’s “disperse and congregate” tactics. In previous presidential elections, DJ formed separate supporters’ groups outside the mainstream and integrated different groups in the run-up to the elections. It is even ridiculous to talk to these two men about responsible politics, which are the root of democracy. Nevertheless, they say all the good words like, “Our People” or “good cause.”

Even more of a spectacle is the dispute between the Uri Party and the Democratic Party over the remarks of President Roh and DJ. The Uri Party, which is insisting on grand integration, and the Democratic Party, which is claiming “Excluding those who are responsible for misgovernment” are in competition with each other, saying “Words to support grand integration” or “expressions in principle.” Without a doubt, what is happening now is a replay of the boss politics of the Three Kim Era (Kim Dae-jung, Kim Young-san, and Kim Jong-pil). The pan-ruling camps should ask themselves whether President Roh and DJ are really the future of our politics.