Park and the greater goodThe 18th general elections cast light and shadow over the ruling Grand National Party. Winning a majority of the National Assembly and a landslide victory in the metro area are certainly bright sides. However, the blast caused by Pro-Park Geun-hye alliance, the alliance of independent candidates supporting Park and the Liberal Forward Party casts a shadow on the GNP. Ironically, the two main figures who cast this shadow are former GNP chairmen. It seems that there will be conflict among the ruling party members, rather than between the ruling and the opposition party. This is because the mainstream force of the GNP has broken promises and failed to make compromises. In August of last year, Park accepted her defeat in the party primary without resistance. She also denounced Lee Hoi-chang, the former party chairman, for running for the presidency as an independent candidate, splitting conservative votes. This gave leverage to Lee Myung-bak, who was then the candidate for the GNP. Park also campaigned for Lee in 13 cities and provinces as promised.
When the presidential election was nearing, Lee Hoi-chang visited Park’s house three times to propose forming an alliance, but Park refused. Lee Myung-bak declared that he would keep Park as a partner in running the country if he was elected president. In January of this year, he met with Park and promised the nomination of candidates for legislative elections will be done fairly. But the result was the opposite. The party members close to Park were not nominated. Said Park: “I was cheated and so were the people.” She kept a low profile for 17 days in Daegu. The legislative election results show how this story ends.
GNP members must abide by principles. Basic principles in politics are to keep promises, compromise and unite. The mainstream GNP forces must accept that they have done wrong and do their best to seek cooperation from the Park faction. Whether the Pro-Park United and the alliance of independent candidates supporting Park can return to the GNP should be discussed in this respect. Park showed once again that she is a politician who abides by principles. Voters listened to her. Now in turn, she must contribute to stabilize the nation for the greater good. More than most, she aspired to assume power and gain a parliamentary majority. There are piles of work to do to resolve problems created in the past decade under the former liberal administrations. The GNP must not be preoccupied with conflicts created in the legislative elections. We hope that Park will think seriously about an effective way to run the country and state affairs.