Corrupt and complacentAfter being defeated in the by-election on April 25, groups of Grand National Party members are fighting to gain control of the party. Voters gave the GNP a severe thrashing, but its members are trying to pass responsibility, instead of working hard to discover why the people were disappointed and turned their backs on them. The destiny of the party’s chairman and its leaders can change at any moment according to Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, the party’s two presidential hopefuls. It seems that the party has pretty much disappeared and all that’s left are its two aspirants.
It is natural that a party should respond to election results. If it is crushed miserably, it needs to do so even more. It is understandable that some argue senior members like Kang Jae-sup, the party chairman, should step down. But the people are not interested in who will resign. Even the resignations of Kang and party leader Lee Jae-oh would mean nothing, unless the party itself is changed. What’s important is that the party heeds the people and tries to change.
The Ministry of Justice plans to publicize a report on corruption in connection with the party nominations for last year’s local elections. It is said to list corrupt acts by Grand National Party members. Some party members are said to have received bribes for granting party nominations during the recent by-election as well. The party claims that the release of the report is politically motivated, but that is not persuasive. The party must change its traits, two of which are corruption and complacency.
The two presidential aspirants are also disappointing and must bear some responsibility for the by-election defeat. However, as soon as the election was over, they blamed each other for the failure.
They are also assessing whether party leaders should stay or go, according to whether any departures would give them an advantage or disadvantage during the primary election. It is inevitable that they will fight over power, but they should not have self-interest as their ultimate goal. To fight over power with no consideration for their party or the people is repellent. If one of these people becomes president, the country will have another five years of nightmares.
There is no hope if the presidential hopefuls lead the GNP in this way. If they do, party members will think only about what the hopefuls want and will try to please them. If a party can’t stand at the center to balance the maneuvering of the candidates, then it is no longer a party, but a group of factions.