Comedy of errorsThe Unified New Democratic Party was born out of the ruling party, which once controlled the legislature of the world’s 13th-largest economy. The new party remains the largest in the National Assembly, with 143 seats. But it is hard to believe this while looking at the process of forming the party, naming it, gathering an electoral college and carrying out its pre-primary polls. The party was formed on Aug. 5. In the period of one month, it has been through a series of pathetic episodes.
The first one involved the bogus electoral college. The party boasted that it had gathered 900,000 ordinary citizens as registered voters so that the people could take part in its presidential primary. But it turned out that one third of these registrations were invalid.
The second was when a court prohibited the party from calling itself the “New Democratic Party” for short, because that is very similar to the Democratic Party, so people could mistake them for the same party. The new party includes members who had previously abandoned the Democratic Party and created the Uri Party.
They attempted to use the old party’s name without anybody noticing, but they got caught. The new party is now the least powerful democratic force.
The best episode was Tuesday’s pre-primary poll. The numbers of votes for each of the contenders must be accurate but they had to be corrected a number of times. In the end, when the results were announced, the number of votes for Han Myeong-sook and Rhyu Si-min, fourth and fifth at the poll, were transposed.
Among registered voters claimed by the party as valid members, 10,000 people were selected for a survey but 4,700 people, less than 50 percent, gave valid answers.
Among those 10,000, 11 percent were from North Jeolla, an area which accounts for just 3.8 percent of Korea’s population. It is very suspicious that the party mobilized these people.
A presidential hopeful’s camp pointed out this issue so it has created controversy.
As with the formation of the party, the new party’s pre-primary was done in a careless manner. The chaos was caused with just 10,000 voters.
Nobody knows what will happen in the party primary when hundreds of thousands or millions of voters take part. Even a school election to select the head of a class would be more organized than this. It is unbelievable that this old-new party seeks to assume power for five more years.