LKP decides upon revised motto, ‘new conservatism’

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LKP decides upon revised motto, ‘new conservatism’

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Wednesday put out “new conservatism” as its new motto while it strives to revamp its image associated with corruption-tainted former President Park Geun-hye.

The party’s reform panel, launched last month under the directive of its new leader Hong Joon-pyo, issued an “innovation declaration,” vowing to strengthen internal cohesion, bring together the country’s fractured conservatives and regain public support.

Lew Seok-choon, the panel’s chairman, said that new conservatism aims to uphold representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy, promote fair economic competition, reject unfair privileges, stamp out corruption and enhance the rule of law.

“Our party faces the tasks of uniting divided conservatives, regaining power based on the unity among free democracy forces, and achieving free democratic unification - all through exhaustive reform,” the declaration read.

“To this end, our Liberty Korea Party unfurls high our flag of new conservatism,” it added.

The panel’s mention of representative democracy appears to reflect its grievances against the so-called “square democracy,” a term referring to months-long massive civic protests that led to the ouster of the former president in March.

“We believe the principle of popular sovereignty must be realized through representative democracy,” the panel said.

“Representative democracy is an institutional mechanism designed to prevent the dangers of direct democracy and infringement on individuals’ rights by the majority forces, and realize the values of republicanism,” it added.

The panel attributed the party’s low popularity and drubbing in the May presidential election to a long-simmering factional rift, its myopic pursuit of partisan interests, and political depravity among other things.

“It is time for us to make all-out efforts for reform as we are in a critical crisis,” the panel said.

The panel also said that the party will prioritize policies on enhancing the livelihoods and welfare of the middle class and other regular citizens.

The declaration came after an intense tug of war over the wording. Some party ranks demanded that it mention the ouster of the former president and the need to remove party members associated with her. The declaration touched on the “factional politics” but stopped short of mentioning Park.

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