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[Editorial] The Ruling Circle Has No Time to Lose

Posted October. 16, 2007 07:37,   


Former Unification Minister Chung Dong-young was confirmed as the presidential candidate of the United New Democratic Party (UNDP) yesterday. However, he has to go through another round of battle for a single candidate within the ruling circle in order to become the real contender for the December presidential election. Throughout the UNDP primaries, Chung himself has said that he would vie for a single candidacy with candidates of the Democratic Party, the People First Party, and presidential hopeful and former Yuhan-Kimberly CEO Mun Guk-hyeon, upon the confirmation of his election as the UNDP candidate.

Former President Kim Dae-jung, the godfather of the ruling circle, also said in New York on September 28, “It has been an integrating process so far, and now is the time to draw a single candidate out of the ruling circle encompassing the UNDP, the Democratic Party, and presidential hopeful Mun.” In response, Mun expressed appreciation after his supporters’ rally for his new party tentatively titled as “Creative Korea Party” on October 14. Lee In-je, likely to be confirmed as the Democratic Party candidate, also wants to see a single candidate within the ruling circle.

The UNDP is the largest party with 141 seats in the National Assembly. However, the current status of the new party is that it cannot help but state that the presidential candidate chosen by an electoral college of 1,920,000 people has not been confirmed but is only a “preliminary” contender. It does not say so out of humility. It is because the party was hastily formed without principles in favor of politicians concerned, and because it rushed to carry out “lawless” primaries by going to the length of stealing the name of the president. How could the party proudly present a candidate to the Korean people?

It is not to take issue with the single-candidate strategy taken by the ruling circle. After all, the voters are the ones who make the decisions. Nevertheless, the ruling circle should be held accountable for having driven no other than the presidential election to a lowbrow survival game without principle and cause.

In the game, the ruling circle is taking the steps of the primaries and then narrowing them down to a single candidate under the slogan of establishment of anti-Grand National Party front. The public is not included in the process. They are not given enough time to test the identity of the party and the credentials or qualifications of a candidate. Even the least of primaries or verification process was dodged by Mun who had long been over the counter.

The presidential election is only two months away. If a single candidate is to be chosen, make it quickly. The ruling circle should not take a political gambit to pressure voters with candidate registration period falling on November 25 and 26 at hand. It is not a time for putting a show of choosing one candidate but a time for scrutinizing and comparing policies of different contenders. The ruling circle must bear in mind that the people are not idiotic.