Sort out the conflictThe Grand National Party is in a serious conflict over the party’s nomination for the legislative elections.
President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s supporters and former Chairwoman Park Geun-hye’s supporters are having a fierce battle and now Chairman Kang Jae-sup has joined the fight. Kang demanded that Lee Bang-ho, the secretary general of the party, resign.
Kang said Secretary General Lee fooled other members and even added that Lee pursued his own interests while deceiving others that they are what the president-elect wants. It is pitiful that GNP members are fighting over the party’s nomination even before the president-elect enters office.
The feud began when the party’s committee for evaluations for nominations decided to strictly enforce an ethics rule. That rule states that members who are sentenced to punishment in the final trial on charges of corruption can’t bid for the party’s nomination. Kang said he asked if that decision was the order of the president-elect and found out it wasn’t.
The president-elect and Park recently agreed to have a fair nomination process and expressed trust in one another. This problem must be resolved with political skill without breaking principles. It is wrong to interpret the party’s rule arbitrarily.
But it is regrettable that the committee decided to strictly enforce a rule that might infringe on the right to hold public office. It is doubtful if the party can serve as the ruling party when it can’t find a compromise over a problem inside the party.
It is an ugly scene when Park’s people raise their voices while threatening to bolt from the party. They don’t have strong cause to do so, and if they do it is a betrayal of their supporters who voted for the party’s candidate in the presidential election.
If the party members talk about leaving the party over a small issue like this, it will be hard to maintain the party.
It is inappropriate that Kang has refused to carry out work for the party for days. When the party’s chairman behaves this way, there is no one who can mediate conflict inside the party.
The president-elect said yesterday that the problem must be resolved through conversation. But for now it seems difficult to reach a compromise.
If this issue is neglected as a minor issue inside a party, the party will have difficulty securing as many seats in the National Assembly as the president-elect expects. It is time for the president-elect to step up and sort out the problem.