Party must shape up fastThe United New Democratic Party primary is in chaos. The camps of presidential hopefuls are using illegal means to win the primary. They are offering transport for voters to polling places and hiring people to register voters over the Internet. Some members of the electorate of the new party turned out to be registered in other parties as well. People under the voting age have been registered. Suspicions have arisen that some gave bribes in exchange for votes.
The names of the president, a minister and a deputy minister were illegally put on the voting roll.
The police even raided the office of Chung Dong-young’s camp. Even if the party names its candidate on Oct. 15, the party is not likely to be free from suspicion and controversy over illegal activities.
The new party, which consists of members of the former ruling party, is ruining its own record of political reform, one of the few accomplishments of the incumbent administration.
The new party controls the National Assembly and its members once used to represent democratic forces and progressive forces.
Now they cannot even hold a primary properly. Democratization of the party has been long lost and the hopefuls will do anything to win the primary. They cannot ask the people to support them to assume power while they run their party in this manner.
The new party has only itself to blame for this mess. When it was the ruling party, it tried to take responsibility for its misdeeds. But the members changed the name of the party, dispersed and regathered in an attempt to assume power again.
They are throwing away their cause of political reform. It is won’t be easy for them to find another cause again. This is seen in the procedure of a primary that is full of cheap tricks, so the public is even more enraged.
These problems go beyond the new party.
An even more serious problem is that those who oppose the Grand National Party or its policies have no other choice. If wrongdoings persist in the new party, no political force will be able to keep the Grand National Party in check in the general election, which will be held after this year’s presidential election.
It is not too late. The new party needs to reform itself. The three contenders in the primary can get together to come up with a consensus. If the party fails to present its new structure and content, it has no future.