Dubious mea culpas

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

Dubious mea culpas

 With barely 40 days left before the March 9 presidential election, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) said — humbly — it will not field candidates in by-elections for three districts in Seoul, Anseong and Cheongju, which will be held on the same day as the presidential election. The three by-elections are being held after lawmakers representing the districts lost their seats for violation of the election law or corruption. The DP also proposed to pass a motion to unseat Reps. Yoon Mi-hyang, Lee Sang-jik and Park Duk-hyum, three lawmakers recommended to resign by the Ethics Committee of the National Assembly. On Tuesday, DP Chairman Song Young-gil appeared on television and pointed to deepening criticism of a group of former democracy fighters for their dramatic transformation into “the establishment.”

Other DP lawmakers joined the mea culpas. Seven lawmakers close to DP presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung vowed to not take any post in the government if Lee is elected president. Lee also pledged to “do more than the public wants,” reflecting a deepening sense of crisis from his plunging approval ratings against his rival Yoon Suk-yeol of the opposition People Power Party (PPP).

We welcome such developments from the ruling camp. Humility suits it. But whenever the DP faced crises in the past, it promised to change, but never did. We don’t know what Chairman Song has been doing to reshape the party.

In the last parliamentary elections, the DP broke its promise and merged a satellite party to help win elections. Before the mayoral by-elections last year in Seoul and Busan, the party pledged not to field candidates, but reversed that decision through an unheard-of full voting by party members and nominated candidates. That maneuver ended with its crushing defeat. The DP helped Rep. Yoon keep her seat in the legislature despite deepening controversy over corruption in her work to help survivors of wartime sexual slavery.

Members of the DP — particularly the core group of former student activists — have demonstrated outstanding skills to take power by any means. In the process, they divided people into friends and foes, turned a blind eye to allies, and methodically attacked opponents. Despite public denunciations of such double standards, they went on with the practice.

The DP may want to say it is sincere this time. If true, the party must prove it through actions, not words, after doing some deep soul-searching.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)