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Does NPAD put pressures on Constitutional Court against dissolution of UPP?

Does NPAD put pressures on Constitutional Court against dissolution of UPP?

Posted December. 12, 2014 05:04,   


Moon Hee-sang, chairman of Emergency Planning Committee of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), said at an emergency planning meeting on Wednesday, “It is unprecedented in other advanced democratic nations to dissolve a political party. I hope the Constitutional Court would make a wise decision.” Despite the frills attached to it, Moon made a clear statement of his opposition in case of the court making a decision to dissolve the Unified Progressive Party (UPP). The party`s Emergency Planning Committee member Moon Jae-in also said, “The government’s petition to dissolve the UPP is a critical restriction on the right of political association.”

As controversy is stirred by Moon’s remarks, NPAD floor leader Woo Yoon-keun warned not to stretch the meaning of the comment, saying, "It is a statement of his stance in principle." Moon drew a clear line by saying it is not the party’s view but his own personal thought. However, it is quite doubtful whether a party leader’s statement at an official meeting can be interpreted as a personal opinion. His remarks are inconsistent with historical facts given that the Constitutional Court in West Germany had dissolved the Communist Party for reasons of violation of constitutions in 1956. At the moment when the court’s decision is imminent, Moon’s comment was inappropriate since it can become an explicit political pressure to the Constitutional Court.

This remarks came after leftist elders, including Priest Ham Se-woong, Pastor Kim Sang-geun and Lee Chang-bok, standing advisor of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, visited the party and asked “to oppose to dissolution of UPP.” They are members of the "Round table conference to oppose forced dissolution of UPP and protect democracy," which was formed in November. Leftist elders have formed the organization to intervene or advise whenever politically and socially sensitive issues have emerged. In the latest case, they played a critical role to break an agreement on Sewol Ferry Special Act between the floor leaders of the ruling party and the main opposition party. In the 19th General Election in 2012, the leftist elders helped to form an opposition party coalition between the Democratic United Party and UPP. At that time, thanks to the opposition party coalition, UPP’s 13 candidates were elected as lawmakers including Lee Seok-gi, who was convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government.

Whatever opinions and beliefs of the leftist elders may be, it is pathetic to see the ruling party being swayed by them, which had taken power twice and has 130 seats in the National Assembly. NAPD’s recent poor political performance including drop of approval rates to 10 percent range can be mainly attributed to being swayed back and forth without proper principles by the elders’ advice politics. So far, NPAD has had distance from UPP, but remarks by Chairman Moon and Rep. Moon revealed the true intent of the party.