Park warns against factional power struggle
By Kang Hyun-kyung
Park Geun-hye lashed out Wednesday at ruling party members allegedly involved in factional power struggle, calling it a “suicidal” act. She cautioned against the post-election festive mood and power games in the lead up to the selection of the party’s new leadership.
Park issued the warning against the divisive act on primary rules to select a presidential candidate to run in the December race on the ruling party ticket. During a tour to Chungcheong Province, the presidential hopeful also targeted lawmakers who circulated a list of figures who will allegedly assume key leadership posts through the National Convention slated for May 15.
“The elections were over just a few days ago. During the campaign season, we pleaded for voters to give us an opportunity to resolve policy problems facing working-class families,” she said. “If we don’t fulfill our commitments, our party will have to face grave consequences.”
She warned against the divisive act.
Park made the statement in response to a media report that the lineup of the new leadership to oversee the crucial primary was already set and that the May convention would be a rubber stamp to endorse the list.
Park stood firm against this, saying such a list does not exist and therefore information about it is fabricated by someone with malicious intent.
In a radio speech aired Wednesday, Park also said she regretted the ruling party’s failure in screening thoroughly Kim Hyong-tae and Moon Dae-sung before they were chosen as ruling party candidates.
Kim has been accused of attempting to sexually assault the wife of his late younger brother years ago, while Olympic gold medalist Moon is under fire for plagiarism. The two lawmakers-elect were forced to leave the Saenuri Party after their unethical acts were confirmed following their election.
The two cases hurt Park in the wake of the April 11 elections as she was at the top of the chain of command overseeing the selection of candidates to run on the ruling party ticket.
Some lawmakers criticized Park, saying her slow response to the illicit activities of the two left the ruling party vulnerable to attacks from the opposition.
They alleged Park had maintained a do-nothing attitude even after the two lawmakers-elect were embroiled in the scandals.
In an interview, Rep. Yoo Seung-min, who was once Park’s close aide, said the ruling party leader should have eliminated Kim and Moon during the selection process as the accusations involving them were made public at that time.
The lawmaker speculated Park’s aides would probably have informed her of the allegations but she didn’t heed them. “As the two lawmakers-elect left the party after the allegations were found to be true, the ruling party suffered the consequences,” he said.
Yoo was on the inside when Park unsuccessfully campaigned in the primary to select a presidential candidate to run in the presidential election in 2007 on the Grand National Party (later the Saenuri Party) ticket.
It’s not clear since when the lawmaker turned his back on the ruling party leader. Sources said their relationship turned sour probably from 2008, a year after the unsuccessful primary.
Another lawmaker Lee Hye-hoon blamed those who are close to Park, alleging they might have edited facts and therefore the ruling party leader could have been misled.
Lee said those who are in the chain of command in the ruling party might be responsible for Park’s incorrect judgment on the recent cases.