[EDITORIALS]Another primary is neededThe Millennium Democratic presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun has proposed joining hands with the independent presidential runner Chung Mong-joon.
This is strange behavior, for Mr. Roh has always stressed that "different policies mean different parties," criticizing others for talking about forming alliances for the election.
It isn't yet clear if Mr. Roh's change of heart is due to outside pressure or the necessity of preventing an exodus from his party. What is clear is that there have been rumors that an "anti-Lee Hoi-chang alliance" would be formed. One can read the "anti-Lee" determination in Mr. Roh's move that "albeit distinct differences in policies," joining hands with Mr. Chung was better than the prospects of "(Lee Hoi-chang) winning and driving the Korean Peninsula into a state of fear of war."
Nevertheless, Mr. Roh seems to have misread the reason why dozens of Millennium Democratic Party members have announced they were abandoning ship with less than 50 days to the election. While the migratory status of these party members is pitiful, the central figures of this party are to blame. Mr. Roh himself is vowing to demolish the party and start anew after the election. A single united force behind one candidate seems to be too much to expect from a party in such disarray.
It still remains to be seen whether Mr. Roh and Mr. Chung can overcome their differences of opinions and join hands. Mr. Roh wants a national primary while Mr. Chung claims the selection of a candidate should be determined by the two of them.
Whoever becomes the candidate and by whatever means, Mr. Roh and Mr. Chung's alliance will only be accepted by the public if they show that justice and legitimacy, not political greed, have spurred their actions. Despite allegations that the Millennium Democrats' primary had been rigged, it was a race with the public's participation. Another primary would be a good way for Mr. Roh and Mr. Chung to gain support for their alliance, for it would provide an opportunity to evaluate the candidates and for them to reach an agreement on their campaign. Without such verification, an alliance would only be politically motivated and have nothing but the solemn judgment of the people in December.