[EDITORIALS]Parties’ fight is embarrassingKim Hong-il, a National Assemblyman and son of former President Kim Dae-jung, returned to the Millennium Democratic Party Sunday after having bolted only 12 days ago. That a politician could change his mind so flippantly on such a serious matter is a problem in itself.
However, what is making this affair even more ridiculous is the squabbling between the Millennium Democrats and the newly formed Our Open Party.
The two parties are fighting over Mr. Kim because having him would give the appearance of the former president’s support, which would help win votes in the Honam region. This leads us to wonder just what other methods the parties will use to attract voters in other regions.
It is true that Kim Hong-il is the eldest child of the former president. However, this does not mean that just because he leaves the Millennium Democratic Party, the former president’s heart has left the party as well. Likewise, the son’s return does not mean that the father’s heart will stay.
It looked very shallow of the Millennium Democrats to try so hard to persuade Mr. Kim to return. It was disappointing to hear Chairman Chough Soon-hyung say “Mr. Kim has a historical duty to share the fate of the Millennium Democratic Party” and Representative Choo Mi-ae’s remark that she couldn’t sleep because the party’s support rate fell after Mr. Kim’s exit.
The Millennium Democrats’ resolute struggle to protect former Chairman Hahn Hwa-kap from prosecutors also seems to be part of the party’s efforts to appeal to Honam voters. The party is saying that persecuting the Millennium Democrats is the same as persecuting Honam.
Our Open Party is not blameless in this matter, either. When Mr. Kim announced that he was leaving the Millennium Democratic Party, the new party’s chairman, Chung Dong-young, said it was “a clear expression of Kim Dae-jung’s resolution to remain neutral.”
In a similar way, President Roh Moo-hyun and the leadership of Our Open Party have recently made several comments seemingly directed toward the former president and the voters in Honam.
We should not let politics hold the Honam people’s opinions hostage anymore.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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