Updated August. 02, 2014 03:59
Tears stood in the eyes of Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the main opposition New Political Alliance for Democracy on Thursday morning. It was right after he had offered to resign from the co-chairmanship in a closed-door meeting of high-ranking officials, taking responsibility for the crushing defeat in the parliamentary by-elections on July 30. After the meeting, he gave a short statement with a resolutely determined look, saying, I take responsibility for everything as the representative and stepped down from the leadership without having a press conference. It was not a responsible act as a political leader of the primary opposition party. The new politics of the Rep. Ahn was shut down in vein.
The seed of crushing defeat was planted at the moment when Kim Han-gil, the chief of the Democratic Party agreed with Ahn Cheol-soo`s group upon the creation of a new unified political party in March. The unification of two parties was the outcome of a politically motivated decision solely to change the landscape of by-elections into a bi-lateral match against the ruling Saenuri Party. The unification of the two parties was criticized as old politics and collusion without principles, philosophy and vision. In every politically crucial moment, they dabbled a bit but withdrew at the end. This is the fifth of its withdrawals, following the cases of mayor of Seoul, presidential candidate, creation of new political party, no nomination for municipal election, and nomination for Seoul Dongjak-B. This is nothing but politics of arrogance because they are asking the public to follow, saying, Whatever we do, this is new politics.
The bare face of old politics, however, was unveiled most explicitly in the process of strategic nomination for the by-elections. They met a great headwind when they chose Kwon Eun-hee for Gwangju Gwangsan-B over former Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae. After the by-elections ended, some even said, Everyone is dead except for Kwon Eun-hee. The old politics with the only focus on winning the elections no matter what reappeared in having one and only candidate without a cause. The representative of the primary opposition party was stranded, not showing a firm political power or a leadership. The mentor group members including Kim Jong-in, Yun Yeo-jun, and Choi Jang-jip left one after another when the illusions started to be broken from the moment when Ahn jumped into the real politics. Yun Yeo-jun, who has complicated political experiences said, Ahns political resources would be run out if he finished his term as a representative.
Could Ahn, who has withdrawn from the leadership, taking responsibility for the crushing defeat in the by-elections, make a comeback for the general elections in 20 months and the presidential election in 2017? He got on the bandwagon of distrusting the established politics, but his will for political philosophy to realize new politics was weak from the beginning. That is why he has revealed the limitation of Cheol-soo politics of an easy step-back. No opportunity will be given to him unless he overcomes this limitation.