Rep. Jang Ha-na holds up a newspaper on which she has written “President resign! Let’s hold a by-election” in her office at the National Assembly in a photo she posted online Sunday. (Yonhap News)
The National Assembly appears headed toward more political wrangling after a first-term proportional representative over the weekend denied the validity of last year’s presidential election.
On Sunday, Democratic Party proportional representative Rep. Jang Ha-na declared her official denial of the validity of the Dec. 19 election and argued that a by-election should be held on June 4.
The DP as a whole has taken pains to walk a thin line between refuting the election result and shedding light on the controversies including those concerning the National Intelligence Service and its alleged role in the presidential election campaign.
The Saenuri Party has accused the main opposition party of denying the election results for the past year, while the DP has repeatedly stated that it was only seeking an apology from the president and the introduction of measures to prevent repeat occurrences.
The conservatives have termed a wide range of actions ― from the DP’s staging of a street-campaign calling for NIS reform to Rep. Moon Jae-in’s comments that there were unfair elements in the election ― as being “presidential election defiance.”
Riled by Jang’s comments, the ruling party is again resorting to the proven tactic of pressuring DP chairman Rep. Kim Han-gil to apologize and to take punitive measures against Jang.
With its statement that Jang’s opinion was her own and against party policy having done little to appease the ruling party, the DP hit back at the Saenuri Party citing actions it took a decade ago.
Citing the Grand National Party’s attempt to void Roh Moo-hyun’s election in 2003 and to impeach him, DP floor spokesman Rep. Park Soo-hyun hit back at the ruling party saying that it was in no position to make an issue of the matter.
“How does (the Saenuri Party) explain Rep. Kim Moo-sung’s comment ‘I do not recognize Roh Moo-hyun as the president,’ made on Sept. 3, 2003?” Park said.
“(The Saenuri Party) has been warned that plotting to reignite political wrangling using Rep. Jang Ha-na’s statement will bring even stronger public resistance.”
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org