No hope for politicsThe house brawl at the two mainstream parties — the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the opposition People Power Party (PPP) — raises eyebrows with its distasteful nature. The two parties rivalling for the next presidency are both in disarray with daily fracas among presidential candidates that now involve party heads. Their skirmishes are vulgar in language and methods. They should be ashamed to ask for votes from the people.
The nomination of food critic Hwang Kyo-ik as CEO of the Gyeonggi Tourism Organization by Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung, a presidential candidate for the DP, raised controversy over favoritism. Many suspect Hwang was recruited for his public defense of Gov. Lee for abusing his brother and sister-in-law despite his lack of expertise in tourism and management. Lee Nak-yon — former DP chairman who’s pitted against Lee in the presidential primary of the DP — accused the Gyeonggi governor of favoritism again for recruiting an unqualified person to a public post in the province.
Hwang joined the mud fight, vowing to end Lee’s political life, calling his aides “mammals,” not humans. Another DP presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun advised Gov. Lee to drop Hwang as he was causing harm to the party. Governor Lee said he would withdraw the nomination if the Gyeonggi Council, a local assembly, opposes.
Meanwhile, the dispute over the primary debate at the PPP evolved into a bigger conflict. Lee Jun-seok, the 36-year-old PPP head, and Won Hee-ryong, former Jeju Governor who is running for candidacy in the primary, have been exchanging shameful brawls over a conversation with leading candidate and former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol. Won claimed that Lee had said Yoon would be “removed soon.” Lee disclosed a part of the recorded conversation, where he had said, “I said ‘that’ would be removed. And ‘that” meant his conflict with Yoon and not Yoon himself.
The shameful in-house fight at the ruling and opposition parties is another example why Korean politics are called fourth class. To appeal themselves to be fit for governing power, they must stop the distasteful wrangling immediately. Gov. Lee must withdraw his nomination of Hwang as head of the Gyeonggi Tourism Organization and PPP leader Lee Jun-seok must pay heed to advice from party members and lessen talk and restore the conservative party’s reputation.