Consensus needed for GNPThe Grand National Party is in a crisis over its primary for the presidential election. At the request of Lee Myung-bak, the former Seoul mayor, Kang Jae-sup, the chairman of the party, presented a revision of rules for the primary. But former Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye strongly resists the revision. She even said yesterday that there would be no primary if things went this way. On the same day, Lee announced a run for the primary. Something bad can happen inside the party at any moment.
We have nothing to say about how the Grand National Party changes its rules and who the party chooses for its candidate. However, it is very disappointing that the majority party in the National Assembly can’t even decide on the rules for its primary. If the party is split whenever there are elections, the foundation of party politics will be shaken.
Kang is most responsible for the situation. It is understandable that he has little influence in the party, so he has few choices. But still, he has to take reasonable steps. He should have discussed his opinion with the two hopefuls before presenting the revision. He announced it first and ordered candidates to follow. How will he handle the result?
He said he risked his political career, but it turned out to be nothing but supporting one of the two hopefuls. Even though other party members can’t do much between the two hopefuls, Kang must display leadership to untie entangled interests between the two aspirants and guide them into a primary.
Politics is a game of give-and-take. It is the art of dialogue and compromise. A ballot is the last resort in democracy. In particular, the rules of a game are not to be decided by majority rule.
There must be a consensus among participants in the game. Military dictators’ regimes passed bills by force numerous times, but the election laws were passed through an agreement between the ruling and opposition parties. Now, when democracy has bloomed, the procedure to elect the president must not be pointed in one direction by force.
There is no need to hurry to have the primary rules decided in the national committee of the party. That’s not the best solution, either. The chairman should do his best to mediate between the two hopefuls. We hope that he will induce an agreement for the two aspirants to willingly take part in the primary. If the party cannot reach an agreement in that matter, it can’t do much even if it assumes power. It does not have qualifications to take part in the presidential election.