[EDITORIALS]A son's troublesome bidKim Hyun-chul, the second son of former President Kim Young-sam, is said to be preparing to run in the by-election for the national Assembly scheduled for Aug. 8. The constituency Mr. Kim has in mind is Happo in Masan, South Gyeongsang province, where his grandfather lives and his father's influence still lingers. He recently changed his resident registration to Happo. He is determined to recover his dignity damaged by his involvement in the financial scandal at Hanbo Steel. But his current political ambition recalls unpleasant memories of his intervention in government affairs. Naturally, many people see his move as naked greed for political power, and critics say that he is unrepentant over the disturbances he created in government.
The public reaction to his bid is made even more negative as it comes at the same time as scandals of President Kim Dae-jung's sons. He might try to defend himself by saying that the charges against him were different from those against Kim Hong-gul. The charges against him were evasion of taxes on political funds, not bribery and influence peddling. However, the controversy over influence peddling of his private aides and bids by his close associates to sway personnel appointments within his father's administration are still bitter memories. This is why people criticize his decision to run in the by-election. Also, as pointed out, his choice of Masan reflects his reliance on his father's influence.
People are disgusted that there might have been a deal between the Grand National Party and Kim Hyun-chul. The GNP finds it difficult to recommend Mr. Kim as the party's candidate considering the negative public reaction, but the party does not want to hurt its relation with Kim Young-sam as a part of its presidential election strategy. The party reportedly is considering forgoing the recommendation of a GNP candidate to the constituency where Mr. Kim will stand or selecting a weak candidate to stand against him. The GNP should make its position clear as soon as possible.
This is not the time for Mr. Kim's rekindling of political ambitions, but for humble reflection.