Written by Hyuncheon Kim
Translated by Seungyoun Woo
There was not any candidate who desires to lead the Korean society in Boston. According to the president of the Korean Society of New England (KSNE) presidential election committee, Young-ki Kim, “The deadline of the candidate registration for the 38th KSNE presidential election was on Monday, October 22nd, and no one ended up registering as a candidate. Next week, we plan to have a meeting among the election committee members, and after discussing the current situation of candidate registration, we will report this situation to the Board of Directors (BoD).
Thus, the election committee is now dispersing, and the authority of the 38th KSNE presidential election is under the BoD. Then the board of directors will select a certain member as a candidate, and if the person agrees, the general assembly will finally decide after all of the approval process. Currently, the 37th president of the KSNE, Han-sun Yu’s term will be completed by end of this year, and the general assembly will possibly be held during the year-end party, since it is the time when a large number of Koreans gather.
In the past, the 34th, 36th and 37th KSNE presidential elections also ended without any registered candidate. For the 34th election, Young-tae Cho, the 33rd president, agreed to serve consecutive terms; for the 36th, Han-sun Yu was the only person who agreed to become a president among the 7 candidates selected by the BoD. Then President Yu also agreed to serve a second term as the 37th president.
The KSNE have not had volunteer candidates in recent years, and yet they did not prepare any measure to resolve the problem.
On the other hand, the president of the Citizen Association, Moon-so Kim, says that the problem of KSNE lacking presidential candidates has not only been happening in recent years, but has also happened in the past.
One of the former KSNE presidents, Kyu-taek Seo, came up with a specific reason why there are not enough candidates. He said, “New England is the area where there are a lot of students and short-term residents but not a lot of Korean Americans, and I assume that not that many Koreans in the region have political ambition. Thus, we just need a leader who is human-friendly and has a strong sense of service.” He also mentioned how a good leader could solve the KSNE’s financial difficulties since they frequently have a deficit.
Now is the time for the BoD to think about selecting candidates for the KSNE election. Hee-kyung Yoon, the president of the service department, wished the BoD to select qualified people in a humble way.
“The status of a recommender is the dignity of a recommendee. Although the time may be delayed, the nominees have to be composed of people who are well reputed,” said Yoon.
According to the problems of the KSNE presidential election, Boston Korea interviewed some Koreans in Boston to see how they actually think of the KSNE. About 20 Koreans were asked, including KSNE related elders, religion related people, scholars, professionals and students. The purpose of the interview was to gather each one’s thoughts about the issues of the KSNE and publicize their opinions in hopes of solving the problem that has been festering for years.
As a result, some interviewees who were related to the KSNE or other Korean organizations actively expressed their opinions. However, people in religion, professionals, and students could hardly comment, either because they do not know about the KSNE or they are not interested.
Moreover, Boston Korea also took action to make public recommendations for a specific presidential candidate to see what type of a leader that Korean residents actually want; however none of the recommendations was collected.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지