Go to contents

[Editorial] Two Different Paths: Chough Soon-hyung vs. Kim Han-gill

[Editorial] Two Different Paths: Chough Soon-hyung vs. Kim Han-gill

Posted July. 25, 2007 03:02,   


The so-called “pan-ruling camp” launched a preparatory committee on Tuesday for a new party, tentatively titled the “New Democratic Party of Grand Alliance for Future Creation.” However, it is absolutely absurd to call it a new party because this is, in fact, an old party filled with old politicians. Big phrases like “Future Creation” or “New World Development” are obviously a bluff intended to deceive the public. The pompous title proves itself to be nothing but a temporary party to be formed just for the sake of the presidential election. It is easy to identify the true color of the party if you look at the fact that Chough Soon-hyung has not joined this so-called, new party of grand alliance in which Kim Han-gill is expected to play a pivotal role.

Although Kim Han-gill even served as the floor leader of the Uri Party, he bolted from the party on February 7 with 22 other lawmakers, saying, “We don’t have a chance of winning the presidential election with the existing title of the party.” Three months later, he created a party called the “New Party for Centrist Reform and Alliance,” and he merged it with the Democratic Party on June 27, becoming the co-chairman of the United Democratic Party with Park Sang-cheon. Just one month after the merger, he joined the preparatory committee of the New Democratic Party for Future Creation while maintaining his party membership just for form’s sake. He is also one of the many lawmakers who defected from the Democratic Party in September 2003 to create the Uri Party. Kim is certainly one of the politicians who must share the responsibility of creating a political chaos that has ensured over the past four years. However, he is now trying to pretend to be someone else by “changing clothes and make-up.”

Chough Soon-hyung, who did not join the mass defection to form the Uri Party, has always been in the Democratic Party. Chough announced his bid for the presidency a few days ago, saying he will run for the election on the Democratic Party’s card and will not join the pan-ruling camp’s “jumbled party,” created merely in the hope of beating the Grand National Party. He also did not hesitate to criticize former President Kim Dae-jung’s interference in creating the New Democratic Party. Chough has been a role model for politicians who desire to act according to their conviction or a good cause.

In short, the self-claimed, New Democratic Party of Grand Alliance can be said to be a “party with Kim Han-gill, but without Chough Soon-hyung.” Although 64 lawmakers are participating in it, 61 of them are former Uri Party members. Many of them have a splendid career of constant changes like that of Kim. Although the Alliance for Future Creation consisting of former Gyeonggi Province Governor Sohn Hak-gyu, who left the GNP, and leading figures of some civic groups have joined the party, it will be extremely difficult to cast off the identity of the Uri Party. Even if the remaining lawmakers of the Uri Party, including pro-Roh figures and proportional representatives, and Rep. Kim Hong-eop of the United Democratic Party, the second oldest son of Kim Dae-jung, partake in the new party, it will not make much difference. Perhaps we should call it, the “Returned Uri Party,” much easier to remember and self-explanatory.