&#91EDITORIALS&#93Punish hit-list makers

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93Punish hit-list makers

The purpose of establishing a political party is to win the power to run the government. Since the presidential election is over, it may be natural that the ruling party appoints its members to important public offices in accordance with their contribution to the election win. Notwithstanding, it is worrisome that there is a list on which people are classified as "to be saved" or "to be eliminated" based on their activities during the campaign.

We do not believe that the list has been prepared by the people in President-elect Roh Moo-hyun's camp. But it is horrific to hear that a hit list that classifies all lawmakers of the Millennium Democratic Party into categories of "traitors" or "loyalists" is circulating. What is even more worrying is that the list is posted on the Web sites belonging to Mr. Roh and to his supporters' club. The whole political community and the MDP in particular are disturbed. Is this a prelude to political retaliation?

People around Mr. Roh have denied any connection with the list or with planned political retaliation. But during past transitions and periods when political parties recommend candidates for National Assembly elections, such lists have also been circulated. Moreover, some party members demanded a party clean-up after the election. Those members who have been called traitors must be feeling anxious, shocked and suspicious. Perhaps, they might think, Mr. Roh is sounding out their intentions.

Mr. Roh should disclose who made the list and punish them so that no other persons follow their example. In doing so, Mr. Roh must make clear that in a democratic society politics should not be terrorized by a hit list. It must be made clear that people cannot be tried before a kangaroo court which relies on anonymity and the fast transmission speed of the Internet. In order to save the Internet as a political development tool, stern measures must be taken.

Mr. Roh should know that if he does not take measures, populism will overflow in our society and the blame will be squarely on his new administration.
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