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Shame on the DP

Mar 03,2020
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) is mulling an alliance with satellite forces to fend off the merged conservative opposition United Future Party (UFP) during the April parliamentary elections. The DP has received an invitation from the so-called Political Reform Alliance comprised of civic groups and veterans from various sectors to form a coalition to secure proportional representative seats at the National Assembly.

If the ruling party accepts the offer, it would be contradicting itself. The DP has condemned the UFP for forming a satellite party called Future Korea Party (FKP) to win a majority in the legislature. DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan called it a “counterfeit party” and its floor leader Lee In-young lashed at the party’s turn to the extreme right.

Yet the DP is also turning to the same trick after it sensed that establishing coalition is a winning strategy. Some of those in the party favoring the idea claim that joining forces with others on the progressive front can best uphold the design of the proportional representation system. Creating a satellite party and joining forces with other forces can be different. To the eyes of voters, however, they make little difference. They are both desperate actions to win as many votes as possible.

But the ruling party must understand that it could lose votes in electoral constituencies by trying to add a few proportional seats. Even the progressive opposition Justice Party — which spearheaded electoral reform with the DP — condemned the attempt. The two parties that had teamed up to rewrite election law to their favor is clashing over a few proportional seats in the Assembly.

Five key members of the DP, including the floor leader, held a private meeting to discuss the creation of a satellite party. In the taped conversation, one said they should not have revised the election law this way in the first place. Another said they couldn’t do that because they needed the Justice Party’s help to pass another controversial bill on establishing a separate investigative agency to probe into corruption of high government officials. Their conversation suggests that the ruling party only joined hands with the minor opposition party to gain its votes only to pass the bill on the controversial law enforcement agency and that it did not have any sincerity on electoral reforms.

Another member at the meeting said they cannot go on joining forces with the Justice Party because they will all suffer. One argued for the creation of a coalition party for proportional seats in order to prevent any attempt to impeach President Moon Jae-in.
Shame on the leadership of the ruling party.

JoongAng Ilbo, March 2, Page 30