Matters of principleNow that the Grand National Party candidate, Lee Myung-bak, has apologized to Park Geun-hye, voters are waiting for Park’s response. Park’s path is clear. She must uphold her deeply held principles, keep her promise to support the party’s campaign and criticize the betrayal by former party chairman Lee Hoi-chang.
The GNP is beset with problems because it has ignored basic principles. The biggest examples are the election for the party leadership and the party nomination for candidates for the general elections next April. More specifically, Lee and his supporters have snubbed party members who worked on Park’s primary campaign. Park’s side, naturally, got nervous.
This is the core reason why Park and her supporters refused to support Lee. Park has been on the counterattack ever since Lee was driven into a corner when Lee Hoi-chang announced he would run for president. Park remains tight-lipped, but some party members hint that there are talks of dividing the party leadership and the presidency. That is, Park would lead the party after helping Lee win the presidency.
In principle, this power fight should not have even happened. At Sunday’s conference, Lee promised that the presidential election and the general elections would be conducted according to the party’s constitution and regulations as supervised by the party leader. Although belated, Lee is reaffirming the principles. Lee also stated that he would work together with Park “as a valuable partner” in deciding important key issues after winning the presidential election.
Though late in coming, Lee has backed down and apologized to Park. Now, Park must return to her principles as well. That is, she must uphold her promise to acknowledge the results of the party primary and help the party candidate win the presidency.
Until now, she has made no official comment on Lee Hoi-chang’s decision to run. But Park, who narrowly lost the primary, is still a senior adviser for the party election committee. She would be going back on her responsibility if she remains silent on the matter.
The longer this silence continues, the greater the public suspicion. By keeping silence she neither supports Lee Myung-bak nor criticizes Lee Hoi-chang for running.
If this is indeed her intention, she is breaking her promise to abide by the primary results.
Park must show, for the sake of the people, that she is a different kind of politician from Lee Hoi-chang.