[EDITORIALS]Voices of reason within Uri

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[EDITORIALS]Voices of reason within Uri

Members of the governing Uri Party who have centrist political tendencies yesterday announced that they had formed a group with the goal of “stabilized reform.” These party members, who have to date been suppressed by the former student activists who make up the Uri Party’s liberal mainstream, are now attempting to make their voices heard.
The group’s sentiment was well expressed in its declaration yesterday: “Those who have been silent and those who have suppressed their desire to talk now gather together to express their opinions.”
The statement continues, “We will ride the seesaw to balance the current party, which is inclined toward a particular side.”
Indeed, they made it clear that they will check and balance the reformist hawks in their party. We welcome the formation of this group, which will counter an Uri mainstream that has disregarded public opinion and engaged in self-righteous reform plans.
The group is mostly composed of lawmakers who are opposed to the abolition of the National Security Law. In a speech marking the group’s launch yesterday, Lawmaker Kim Jin-pyo said, “We reflect on ourselves to determine whether we have made enough effort to see to it that our reform proposals go hand in hand with the public, through dialogue and discussion.”
From within the governing party itself come warnings that it should not force its plans onto the people, or make undue haste. Even former President Kim Dae-jung, concerning the party’s four reform bills, said, “If they do not receive enough public support, then you may want to wait.”
But the reformist hawks of the Uri Party are not listening to such warnings. They have asked lawmaker Kim Boo-kyum to leave the party, because he said, “The president should keep himself aloof from ideological issues.” Another hawkish lawmaker told Chung Jang-sun, who had called for reconciliation with the opposition party, to leave the party as well.
The lawmakers of the Uri mainstream regard the new group as “anti-party.” They are acting narrow-mindedly, and militantly, against a group that is proposing a new and sound direction for their party.
The Blue House and the governing party should heed the voice of this group. If there is no democracy within the Uri Party, there will be no future for it.
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