UDP stumblingThe United Democratic Party, the largest opposition party, is not doing what it should, and is in fact doing what it shouldn’t.
The party is promoting illegal acts and shying away from abiding by the law.
Some netizen threats against companies advertising in the JoongAng, Chosun and Dong-A dailies are definitely illegal acts. It is only right that prosecutors and the police have started investigating the matter. But the United Democratic Party is supporting the threats and asking the prosecutors and the police to stop investigating. The party is protecting the illegal act carried out on Monday as a free and just expression of opinion. It put out a statement asking the investigating team to disband. They then visited the Ministry of Justice.
The netizens’ act is far from a normal consumer movement and is legally a crime for hindering work.
It is an individual’s freedom not to buy products he or she doesn’t like, and it is a legitimate consumer movement to boycott defective products. The recent threat against advertisers, however, is different.
It is a crime of hindering work. Forcefully hindering business, incurring damage, or making someone vulnerable to damage by disseminating false information and false contracts is a crime.
The prosecutors are investigating such acts. When a group systematically makes a threat and hinders companies from advertising, which is essential for their work, such acts should rightfully be eradicated.
What the United Democratic Party should do immediately is return to the National Assembly. Party members and legislators belong to the National Assembly.
The UDP is not respecting the National Assembly law that requires them to return to the Assembly after their party convention on June 5, and it is engaged in activities outside the Assembly. The National Assembly law outlining the start of a session was made precisely to prevent dereliction of duty by parties like the UDP. It was the United New Democratic Party, the predecessor of UDP and the former ruling party, that created the law.
The legislative body should abide by the law that it made. That is the fast track for the parties to regain their authority, which is being swept away under the name of direct democracy.
The UDP should not lean on the politicized candlelight vigils and instead be born again as an institutional party that calms people’s anti-government sentiments.