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Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Park Won-soon (Seoul's Mayor : A Wind of Change)

Seoul's Mayor - Mr. Park cleaning the sreets of Seoul at 6:00 a.m

Park, Won-soon , a human rights lawyer and an independent candidate ( a political outsider) won the elections for Seoul Mayor when the former mayor of Seoul resigned from his second term in office after losing 'School Lunch Referendum'.
The major battle for mayoral office was fought on whether more budget be allocated for citizens' welfare or not which in turn lead Park to victory - who believes that investing in welfare is investing in future ( and I fully agree with that).
The catchphrase for Mr.Park was "change" - this word 'change'  is riding high to bring in new faces and ideas the worldover and Seoul became a party to it. Seoul's mayoralship is one of the fiercely contested political battles where South Korea's one fifth of the population lives. Seoul populations is over 10 million  (larger than Tokyo) - which makes it a mega city that is also responsible for 50 percent of the country's GDP (Beijing's share in China is only 3% and New York's share in the US is only 8%) hence, as one one author put it that Mr. Park is chosen to head a 'city-country' within South Korea minus the military and foreign policy.

Mr. Park, 55, is a former student activist expelled from his university in the 1970s for demonstrating against former President Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979. Mr. Park later became a human rights lawyer who led two of South Korea’s most influential civic groups that exposed corruption in the country’s powerful conglomerates and accused members of the conservative elite — including President Park — of collaborating with the Japanese during their colonial rule in Korea.  (NYT).
The winds of change have been blowing almost everywhere in the world. People with no previous political backgrounds or even affiliations have been voted in to the important public offices. Mr. Park, Seoul's mayor, declined to join any political parties, though in his elections he was supported by the opposition, clearly indicates that dynastic politics or traditional politics is changing fast...for a better tomorrow.

Park, Won-soon is a household name in civil society groups in South Korea. He is the founder of the famous organization: People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), does the name Beautiful Stores of the Beautiful Foundation rings any bells??? Well he is the man behind it and then the very famous 'Hope Institute' a think tank owes to Mr. Parl. These names are a proof of how committed he is towrds the betterment of public in general as well as for creating a just and equitable society for all. All he believes in is the delivery of the services to the less previlaged. He has pledged a 30percent increase in the budget to be allocated for public welfare projects which is a huge money.

Mayor Park turned out to be an underdog, he won against a very powerful and politically backed opponant, Ms. Na - who has supporters like former president  General Park, Chung-hee's daughter's behind her, however, she still lost. This win shows that the voters have rejected to the 'staus -quo style politics' for a new change. People voted in an independent candidate - who does NOT have "any political party" but people believe and trust that he will do the best for the people!

Right after taking office,  when addressing his management team, he asked his subordinates not to rise when he walks into the room. The new mayor showed up at 6 a.m. in a fluorescent green uniform to clean the Seoul streets. Park is genuinely concerned about all the citizens - what else can people dream of - a genuine and honest leader.

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