[EDITORIALS]A party that’s overWhat will become of the Uri Party? With a presidential election set for December, party members have been arguing with each other about whether to merge with other political forces to build a new party or stick with the status quo. There is no need for outsiders to join this argument. However, one must be concerned about the way the Uri Party members have been using the real estate issue in their debates. The Uri Party, after all, is still the governing party and such arguments might make the real estate market worse.
For instance, Chairman Kim Geun-tae and the policy chief of the party, Kang Bong-gyun, accused each other of trying to be a “Grand National Party-wannabe” and a “pro-North Korean leftist” respectively over the issue of whether builders should be forced to reveal their costs when they construct new apartments. This argument has led Mr. Kim to threaten a boycott of party meetings and, ultimately, departure from the party along with former chairman Chung Dong-young. If the leaders of the party can’t agree on anything, how are the people supposed to trust them to lead? While separation is never easy and rarely pretty, the Uri Party leaders should know better than to confuse the public with their political power struggle.
Of course, it is not wrong for the members of a party to hold different opinions. Yet when the chairman and the policy chief cannot agree on a major policy issue and the real estate policy committee chairman doesn’t agree with the party’s real estate policy, then there is reason to doubt the governing party’s competency. On top of that, if the government doesn’t agree with the governing party, then the issue affects the entire country. The governing party should at least examine its policy proposals behind closed doors, instead of allowing its members to make random announcements to the public.
The Uri Party will hold a meeting with the government on Thursday over real estate policies. However, it is unlikely that the meeting will come to much if the party members cannot decide on their own positions. If they can’t agree on anything, why not just keep quiet until the separation is finalized? Moreover, this year will see a presidential election. Candidates will be competing among themselves with different policies. The government must be able to keep its center and take care that a wave of populism does not ruin the election.