Danger for the GNPThere was a physical clash yesterday at the Grand National Party’s headquarters, in Yeomchang-dong, Seoul. Supporters of Park Geun-hye, the former party chairwoman and presidential hopeful, some of them senior citizens in their 70s and 80s, attempted to storm the building while the police tried to stop them, creating a confrontation. Glass panes were broken and one protester and a policeman were injured.
The conflict surrounding the rules over the GNP party primary has gone this far. The protesters called themselves part of an association of parents and claimed to be members of the Grand National Party. They demanded that party chairman Kang Jae-sup apologize and withdraw his revision of the primary rules.
As the two people battling for the presidential nomination, Lee Myung-bak and Park, confront one another, things could get out of hand with emotions running so high. No one knows what will take place when the party’s National Committee has to vote on the new primary rules with the two sides so deeply divided, for and against.
Physical clashes cannot be sanctioned, no matter what. To use physical violence is to give up democratic procedure and it is against the democratic principles that Park emphasizes. Violence only begets more violence.
The job to decide the GNP presidential candidate must not be taken under threat of physical assault. Violence does not help solve any problems, but rather provides rivals with greater reason to harden their position. The deeper the emotional grudge, the less dialogue and compromise can be brought to bear to solve a problem.
Whether there are political strings attached or not, when violence occurs, the person the protesters support has to take responsibility. The two Grand National Party hopefuls must prevent their supporters from allowing such incidents to occur.
First, the two camps must remain calm and resolve the current problem over the revision of primary rules. If emotional conflicts are prolonged, that will not be good for the candidates. If hard feelings remain in either camp, the party will be divided at the time of the presidential election.
If the presidential hopefuls display their desire for power too openly, people will be wary of leaving the country in the hands of such a person.
They may lose trust in the Grand National Party over the issue of such ambition. We hope that the party will not disappoint the people.