[EDITORIALS]Bad start for the GNPWe wonder whether the Grand National Party, the nation’s largest opposition party, is carrying out its functions with the right attitude as we look at its slate of candidates for the upcoming legislative by-elections.
In particular, we are looking at the nominee to represent a constituency in the Songpa district of Seoul. The man, Chung In-bong, was once stripped of his Assembly seat after being convicted of violating election laws. He had thrown a party and paid for prostitutes for cameramen.
After an outcry from within and without the party, the Grand Nationals withdrew the nomination. Its candidate evaluation committee said it did not know about the procuring, although the charges were clearly stated on the court ruling.
This is from a party that has accused the administration of not looking thoroughly into the backgrounds of candidates for government positions.
As a second choice, the party nominated Maeng Hyung-gyu, despite his earlier statements that he would not run for another Assembly seat.
This is a bad decision as well. Mr. Maeng was an assemblyman representing Songpa who resigned to seek the party’s nomination for mayor of Seoul four months before the May 31 election.
A National Assemblyman is obliged to carry out his duties during a four-year term. Mr. Maeng let down his constituency by resigning, leaving voters in the district unrepresented in the Assembly for the past six months. His resignation was the reason a by-election is required; had he not done so, tax money would not have to be used to conduct another election.
The party, undeterred, still nominated Mr. Maeng. Because the Grand National Party is quite strong in Songpa, it should have taken advantage of the opportunity to find a fresh and qualified candidate.
Through a party nomination, the people can get a glimpse at a party’s political philosophy and mentality. During the Grand National Party’s recent nominating procedure, the party seems to be showing that it is arrogant and believes that it can appoint anyone it wishes, as it did in the May 31 local elections.
Just as was the case before the local elections, there are rumors of bribes changing hands in return for Grand National nominations to fill Assembly seats. The Grand National Party should cancel its nomination of Mr. Maeng and conduct a search for candidates with a principled approach.