[EDITORIALS]Party should stick to pledge

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[EDITORIALS]Party should stick to pledge

Our Open Party lawmakers’ withdrawal of their pledge to give up their seats in case of impeachment is akin to deceiving the nation. In a statement yesterday, party members said, “If it is a pledge that we cannot keep, it is only right for us to confess honestly and to seek forgiveness.”
Then why did they make the promise in the first place? For a party that considers itself to be the de facto political ruling party, this act is irresponsible.
Our Open Party’s pledge to give up its seats has scored them points with the public since the impeachment. When the opposition passed the impeachment bill on March 12, legislators from Our Open Party shed tears and cried out for justice, which in turn helped to amass the anti-impeachment sentiment around the country. As a result, the party’s popularity has soared, and Our Open Party stands to become the No. 1 party in the upcoming National Assembly elections.
Now the party tells the people that it cannot stand by their words, which only exasperates the public. Moreover, they are being cowardly and ignoble in saying, “We cannot give up our seats, because who knows what they [the opposition] might do.”
There are two reasons behind Our Open Party’s backtracking: the 5.4 billion won ($4.7 million) of National Funds it gets for the elections next month, and the number allotted to the party in the coming election, which is determined by the number of seats in the Assembly.
These two factors are hard for any party to easily dismiss. However, nothing is more important than a promise to the people. Our Open Party is giving up its principles in backing down from its promise, and it is contradicting the reform mantra that the party has been chanting every spare moment they have.
Even though Our Open Party members have been gaining more support from the public, their actions have been disappointing ever since the early days of the party’s founding. Even after its rocky start, internal fighting continued over the nomination process.
The party must be penitent and exercise self-restraint. It is arrogant for it to easily revoke a pledge made to the people just because its popularity improved in the 10 days after the passing of the impeachment bill.

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