[EDITORIALS]Shut your traps, parties

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[EDITORIALS]Shut your traps, parties

We don't need anymore badmouthing. As the campaigns for the presidential election get more and more serious, the Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party seem to be spending more and more time indiscriminately attacking each other.

The GNP recently raised suspicions about the MDP's candidate Roh Moo-hyun by accusing him of not publicly recognizing property he owned worth 3 billion won ($2.5 million), even though he owns it under his brother's name. The day after, the GNP placed a newspaper advertisement with the headline "Can you imagine a presidential candidate for the common people involved in land speculation?" In the ad, the GNP slapped Mr. Roh with other accusations and said, "An old politician cannot open a new era." In addition, the GNP asked Mr. Roh to give up his candidacy because he in effect helped manipulate stock prices by acquiescing during the fuss over a treasure ship when he headed the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The GNP said that many minority shareholders lost hundreds of billions of won because of that manipulation.

The MDP fired back saying, "The GNP bribed a guy to publicly say that he was involved in the process of fabricating a tape recording that Kim Dae-eop used when he accused the GNP's presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang of helping his son dodge miltary service." The MDP also revived what it said months before that 15 years ago Mr. Lee purchased 2.6 hectares in Gyeonggi and South Chungcheong provinces for speculation. Finally, the MDP asked Mr. Lee to disclose how much inheritance tax he paid following his father's recent death.

If half the things said by both parties about the two candidates are true, the candidates should not be working-level officials, let alone president. If there are legitimate suspicions, they should be cleared up right now. Both parties should publicly confirm their accusations in order to clear up these accusations. If the parties cannot do that, they should stop saying nasty things. We ask the two candidates' camps to think about their words before they speak. If the parties don't stop badmouthing each other, they'll surely feel the public's punishment.
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