What is Lee waiting for?The splinter minority Unified Progressive Party is on the verge of a breakdown. There is hope yet if the two proportional representatives from the mainstream faction give up their seats gained through vote rigging. Lee Seok-ki and Kim Jae-yeon refuse to comply with the leadership decision even as the other proportional members and co-chairs stepped down over the rigged election. Lee, famous for involvement in pro-North Korea activities, is particularly in the eye of the storm and jeopardizing the entire liberal political camp with his intransigence.
Lee, supposedly the ringleader of the Gyeonggi Dongbu alliance that had been behind the primary rigging and recent violence at a party meeting, served a jail term for his underground pro-North Korea activities. He is already unqualified to represent the country’s legislative due to his illicit past.
He denies any wrongdoing. The irregularities his faction committed during the primary to select proportional candidates have been exaggerated by the rivaling faction and the media, he claimed. We have to question if he has any knowledge of democracy. Is he saying that foul play in elections is excusable? In fact the irregularities his faction has committed are not excusable. The tampering took place widely and in various methods.
Lee also denied culpability in the brawl. It was the mainstream faction that led the election fraud and raided the central committee meeting that met to dismiss the leadership and proportional candidates. Lee blamed smaller factions for provoking the brawl by pushing ahead with the decision. But the physical attack on the central committee members was witnessed by the public.
He also was in self-denial about public polls. But a recent poll by the JoongAng Ilbo showed that only 16 percent did not mind if the contentious figures retained proportional seats. Even the party’s main patron - the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions - announced that it will withdraw support for the UPP if Lee does not step down.
He is determined to become a lawmaker no matter what it takes. We have to ask what motivates Lee to be so persistent and self-assured. He is discrediting democratic procedures, ignoring public opinion and jeopardizing the entire liberal political group. For whom and what does he want to serve as a politician? He simply is not worthy of representing the people. It is not too late to repent and undo the mistake.
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