Misuse of Governmental PowerThe governments increasing intervention in elections is emerging as a possible concern in elections already smudged by government power. With the recent changes in the General Election campaigning by the Milliennium Democratic Pary(MDP)and Grand National Pary(GNP), the two parties are now fighting a battle over the use of governmental offices.
With the controversy surrounding so-called outflow of national wealth and national debt issues, the public watches in bewilderment as related government officials make high profile adverstiments on these issues. People watch as the officials make open speeches on TV in support of government policies. However, governmental offices simply explained that it is part of their national duty to step up and elaborated on the various policies, which they are enacting, to the people, and this has nothing to do with electioneering.
Still, the public views the whole thing, with its twisted logic and method, questioning why.
First of all, concerns over the outflow of national wealth and the national debt and how they are calculated are a dispute solely between the MDP and GNP. The governments policy is the policy put forward by the ruling party. It is not likely that the ruling party is going to go against government policy; yet, the governments intervention in the two party-struggle simply makes no sense. The government is apparently siding with the ruling party.
What we are trying to stress at this point is that all these events are taking place under the direction and urging of President Kim Dae-jung. Korea is a nation with a system that provides authoritive power to the President, and we believe the President is well aware of his power. What in the world could he be thinking?
President Kim Dae-jung above all has long demanded that the government stand on neutral ground, and he promoted the establishment of a bipartisan cabinet system during various past elections. This could be interpreted as asking for fair management of the election process and non-intervention by the government and its officials during the battles between parties at election time.
The President's current urging of the government to give a clear explanation of its current policy, after the political problems he faced before his election, does not correspond with his past policies, and thus, ends up arousing people's suspicions.
President Kim should well define his position as a leader of the MDP and his role as President of the nation, so as to remain neutral and distance himself from accusations of misuse of power.