Son of scandalKim Hong-up, the second son of former President Kim Dae-jung, was publicly nominated by the Democratic Party to run in the by-elections for the Sinan and Muan district, to be held on Sunday.
This is a free country and anyone with the right to vote who meets the legal requirements is free to run in public elections. However, Mr. Kim, of all people, should have refrained from running in this election. Even the local civic groups and those within the Democratic Party have voiced their opposition to Mr. Kim’s candidacy.
Locals of South Jeolla province are fiercely proud of the fact that former President Kim Dae-jung hails from the region. It is Machiavellian for the Democratic Party to take advantage of the sentimental affection for the former president and scheme to get his son elected as a National Assembly member.
It is arrogant to think that electoral districts are private properties that can be inherited. The respect that the father commands in this region is immeasurable. If so, he should use his reputation to open the way for able workers to contribute to the progress of this region.
Instead, the former president has opted to send his son, whose reputation was seriously compromised by involvement in a political scandal, as the candidate for his hometown with orders to “serve the region and the country.”
Ever since the father was president, the sons have been continuously involved in one murky scandal after another.
It was not long ago that Mr. Kim Dae-jung’s two sons were indicted on charges of political corruption.
The eldest, Kim Hong-il, who was elected to the National Assembly three times, was convicted last year of taking a bribe from a former banker, causing him to lose his legislative seat. He was also sentenced to two years in jail suspended for three years. Kim Hong-up also served a sentence of one year and six months for taking bribes before being pardoned in 2005. He should be humbly reflecting on his conduct and exercising self-discipline, instead of running for elections in his father’s hometown as if he was entitled to be honored for his achievements.
The Democratic Party’s choice of candidate show that it has abandoned its efforts to be a true democratic party.
Has Mr. Kim done anything to help the political progress of our country, let alone that of the party?
Does the party consider it true democracy to nominate a candidate solely on the fact that his father is former President Kim Dae-jung, even when he hadn’t even applied for the race?
If the Democratic Party is planning to become the private party of a particular politician running on principles of heredity, then it might as well close its doors now.
It is not too late. Mr. Kim Hong-up should resign from the candidacy. That is the only honorable thing for him to do.