Chaotic campaignWith the presidential election campaign headed for its climax, political forces have gathered and separated in pursuit of their interests. Different posters for the 12 presidential candidates are displayed but some of them disappear overnight. The election is just 15 days away but it is still uncertain who will be in the race until the end.
Former presidential candidate Chung Mong-jun joined the Grand National Party and is supporting its candidate, Lee Myung-bak. Chung said we should conclude our failed political experiments of the past 20 years and open a new way for democracy in Korea. The past 20 years have consisted of five years under Roh Tae-woo, five years under Kim Young-sam, five years under Kim Dae-jung and five years under Roh Moo-hyun. It is hard to know on what grounds Chung can label the last two decades as 20 years of failure.
Five years ago, Chung gave up his bid for the presidency and united with Roh Moo-hyun, who was far from a conservative figure. That helped started five years of the amateur progressive administration. The day before the presidential election, Chung changed his mind abruptly and broke his tie with Roh. That was a chaotic move. Now, he gives no explanation for how his identity has changed for five years.
When registering as presidential candidate, Sim Dae-pyung, the People First Party candidate, said he would be at the center of the cause for a change of political power with unfailing conviction. When Lee Hoi-chang, another candidate from Chungcheong Province, announced his aspiration to run for president, Sim called Lee a leader. But when Lee Myung-bak called for his support, he had to negotiate to unify the candidacy. In the end, Sim raised Lee Hoi-chang’s hand. He seems to be planning to have Lee Hoi-chang as a main figure to restore a “Chungcheong party” next year in preparation for the general elections. He is standing at the center ― not with unfailing conviction ― but with political calculations about the presidential election business.
For the 2007 presidential election, Moon Kook-hyun, the Creative Korea Party candidate, was the only new figure among major candidates. As a fresh candidate, he enjoys high approval ratings. But now he is reportedly thinking seriously about unifying his candidacy with Chung Dong-young. Where are his promises for a victory and a new era?
In this confusing time, voters are witnessing the disappearance of great causes, along with campaign posters.