[EDITORIALS]New party, new worriesThe nation's political arena may soon be in turmoil. Rumors about the organization of a new party to be founded by Representative Park Geun-hye have spread widely. Speculation was fueled by a series of recent problems in the opposition Grand National Party. The opposition party's President Lee Hoi-chang was criticized for inappropriate use of a house as his residence, and a vice president resigned. One of the party's representatives hinted he might bolt. Hong Sa-duk gave up his candidacy in the primary for Seoul mayor, and another party leader demanded the party leadership step down.
The former president Kim Young-sam showed an elusive attitude; the ruling Millennium Democratic Party's strong presidential candidate Rhee In-je turned out to gain fewer than expected votes in the primaries. All of these changes hint that the existing blueprint of the presidential election should be redrawn.
The pubic wonders if the political course was based on struggles to elect a new leadership or if politicians began their migration again as the election period approaches.
The current political trend has been formed because the capacity of our leaders has reached the uppermost limit. The Kim Dae-jung administration's misgovernment, the public's frustration and the opposition party president's nonchalance about the people's hardships has bolstered this recent political stream. When Ms. Park's new party will be launched has not been determined, but the new party cannot be equipped with a destructive power if it only relies on anti-Kim Dae-jung and anti-Lee Hoi-chang sentiments.
If the new party is a group of people torn by by power struggles, the public will definitely turn their heads away from it. The new party should not try to gain power through opportunistic attempts. Politicians should never forget the lessons from the Democratic People's Party in the last general election; the party was ignored because of its unclear identity and jumbled lineup. Ms. Park's new party should shed the temptation of becoming a representative of the Gyeongsang provinces.
The competitiveness and value of the new party will be determined by how well the party meets the demands of this time and the people. Korea's people have learned to be on guard against a mad scramble by poor new parties.