Progressive party seeks total reboot

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Progressive party seeks total reboot

The minority opposition Progressive Justice Party yesterday presented an extensive overhaul plan to recast the party’s reputation by focusing on labor issues while finding a balance on North Korea issues.

The party, which has five lawmakers in the 300-seat National Assembly, yesterday held a meeting of its delegates and adopted a declaration of seven promises to address the growing disappointment and criticism toward the progressive politicians, vowing to find a new path for progressive politics.

The party said it will devote more efforts on politics for laborers by redefining its relationship with the labor community. It said it won’t be trapped within the framework of the labor unions while expanding its spectrum to represent the entire working population.

The party also promised to “respect the constitutional values, maintain a reasonable attitude toward North Korea and build a peaceful Korean Peninsula.” Until now, the progressives were often criticized for being reluctant to criticize Pyongyang, but the party yesterday promised to “sternly criticize the North for its attitude that runs against a nuclear-free peninsula and establishment of peace.”

The party also vowed to address rights abuse issues in the North, a matter which the liberals in the South have kept mum on despite the international community’s criticism toward Pyongyang’s brutal abuses of human rights.

It also vowed to make a leap by seeking an alliance with individuals and political groups that share common goals. It was speculated that the Progressive Justice Party and independent Representative Ahn Cheol-soo may join hands after Ahn met with Representative Sim Sang-jeung, floor leader of the Progressive Justice Party, on June 5.

The two lawmakers later told local media that they discussed the problems associated with the current party politics in which the Saenuri Party and the Democratic Party are the only practical members.

The party also promised to put forward more efforts to achieve economic justice, better welfare programs and political reform to engage the people and grow future political leaders.

By SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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