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(EDITORIAL from the Korea Herald on March 12)

All News 09:03 March 12, 2016

Real third way
Ahn and People's Party should stick to its cause

Ahn Cheol-soo, coleader of the People's Party, is under mounting internal pressure to tie up with the main opposition party to boost their chances of defeating the ruling party in the April 13 general elections.

The pressure is led by the other coleader Chun Jung-bae and Kim Han-gil, the party's chief campaigner. The two had failed to persuade Ahn in their three-way meeting the previous day and Kim said Friday he was resigning from his post.

The argument of people like Kim and Chun is simple: A split in the votes for opposition candidates will give the upper hand to ruling party candidates. Kim asserted that a divided opposition may even allow the Saenuri Party to gain enough number of parliamentary seats to revise the Constitution, i.e. 200 or two-thirds of the 300 total.

It is true that ruling party candidates will have advantage over multiple opposition candidates, but it also is true that real good candidates will be able to overcome any such odds. Kim and Chun's job is to find such candidates, not to seek an alliance that betrays the very cause on which the party was founded.

The People's Party was launched only 40 days ago by Ahn, who abandoned The Minjoo Party of Korea with a call for changing the Korean politics many of whose ills stem from the domination of two major parties. It is ridiculous for Chun and Kim -- both of whom have broken away from the Minjoo -- to argue that they need to hold the hands of the party which they had branded as evil so short a while ago.

Ahn said in Friday's party meeting that the election should be a battle between the old and the new and between the past and the future. He said his party will not compromise with old politics and it will become a third party which will be able to make the National Assembly a parliament faithful to its job.

Maybe all what Ahn says and does will not be right, but at least his call for the need to build a sizable third party reflects correct assessment of Korean politics, which has suffered so long from confrontations between a big conservative party and its liberal rival party.

So our advice to Chun, Kim and other supporters of the proposal to form an opposition alliance: Go back to the Minjoo and stop impeding the People Party's honorable experiment with a third way.

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