[EDITORIALS]A plan that seems doomedA scheme by Lee Hoi-chang to calm down internal disputes within the main opposition Grand National Party is lukewarm and complex. The party's nonmainstream faction demanded that the opposition leader adopt a group-based leadership structure, and that he should not be both the party's presidential nominee and party president. Mr. Lee's answer Tuesday was that he will not separate the two, but that he will instead name an acting president.
More specifically, Mr. Lee said that he will appoint an acting president as soon as he makes official his primary bid. At the party convention in May, he will be running for both the party's presidential nominee and the presidency. If he is chosen party president again, he will again name an acting president. Mr. Lee's blueprint to find the way out of myriad problems facing his party, contrary to expectations, is convoluted, unrefined and halfhearted.
By naming an acting president, Mr. Lee said he will be retiring from frontline party leadership, thereby embracing the spirit of a group-based leadership demand made by the nonmainstream faction. Asked why he will also be running for the party presidency at the May convention, Mr. Lee said that he did not want the in-house race to become overheated and bring about unfortunate results. Such a comment only illustrates that the Grand National Party is incapable of reforming and innovating the party on its own. The comment invites criticism that Mr. Lee is sweating over small stuff, when the main stuff, the presidential election in December, lies ahead.
His proposal is a marked contrast to the ruling Millennium Democratic Party's ongoing primary to select its presidential nominee, which has been unfolding in interesting twists and turns and imbuing freshness in Korean politics. Appointing an acting president does not fit for a group-based leadership and the democratic framework of party politics.
It gives power to the nonmainstreamers' claim that Mr. Lee is smartly skirting the demand to change his "imperialistic" leadership style, while intending to administer party affairs behind a veil. The convoluted and laborious steps Mr. Lee took in putting forth the scheme further deepens the impression that he is behind the times, which will only burden the opposition party.