[EDITORIALS]Give Kim's Bold Gamble a ChanceThe Millennium Democratic Party without President Kim Dae-jung seems at a loss, like a person who is abruptly surrounded by thick fog on the road. They don't know what to do, and feel like sons abandoned by their fathers. That was the expression of a person in the party to describe his feelings. But the presidential hopefuls are not interested in putting the party back together; they seem to be paying attention only to matters such as when to hold the party convention and nominate its presidential candidate and how to separate the party presidency from the presidential candidacy. This situation warns us in advance that the party will have to overcome many difficult obstacles before it can manage to stand on its own.
In order to adapt itself to the new political landscape, the MDP should read correctly President Kim's anguish and hope in his decision to resign from the party. His decision was like saying good-bye to the MDP after he decided it could not help him run the government. It is not likely to reunite and has been consumed by antagonism and confrontation among its members. But the president must have hoped that it could be overhauled and at least be able to select a candidate. In his explanation of his resignation, we could sense such hope and affection for the party as well as poignant regret. His resignation is an opportunity to change the political culture of a president cum emperor.
The MDP should first focus on democratizing its management, and devise fair rules to govern the convention to nominate its presidential candidate. Nor should it neglect its responsibility as the ruling party. The party is where it is because it has never paid enough attention to public opinion. Most people are interested in reviving the economy and welfare, not in the nomination of the party's presidential candidate. Public opinion is asking the party to focus first on putting the drifting government back on course. The party should get its act together as soon as possible, try to restore cooperative relations with the opposition parties and build constructive relations with the administration. To do that, presidential hopefuls should stop lining up supporters to torpedo the hopes of other competitors. These are the conditions for President Kim's impressive political gamble to succeed.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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