&#91EDITORIALS&#93MDP needs to come clean

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93MDP needs to come clean

The ruling party’s reaction to the Goodmorning City bribery and improper campaign donation allegations are increasingly outrageous. Such old political tactics as trying to dilute the point, nagging, the “water ghost” campaign (pulling everyone down as you sink), are employed all together. In the attitude of the ruling party which revisits these old tactics, we find no morality, good sense, principle or law-abiding mentality.
First the Blue House took a wrong turn. President Roh Moo-hyun proposed yesterday that both sides of the aisle come clean on accounting for their presidential campaign funds. A day earlier, he proposed amendments to the Political Funds Act. But what complicates the issue most are the comments by Chyung Dai-chul, chairman of the Millennium Democratic Party. It is natural that the one accused of wrongdoing should answer the charges against him first. It is only right for Mr. Chyung to appear before the prosecution, and the Blue House and ruling party should make public their campaign funds. Then the opposition would naturally be pressed into making its financing public, and the work to amend the Political Funds Act would follow.
There also is a serious lapse in logic in the ruling party’s response. The Blue House chief of staff, Moon Hee-sang, said the entire political community should confess to the people. If there was any intention to confess, it should have come as soon as the administration took office. The officials should have said there were specific problems during the election. And they are not talking about their own transgressions. They have pulled the opposition into the issue, saying, “We and they, too, have done wrong.” This only comes across as sneaky maneuvering.
There is something seriously distorted in the statement that the two parties could enact a special law to grant immunity on presidential campaign finances. The question of immunity is for the judicial branch to decide. It is presumptuous, to say the least, that possible criminals are colluding to talk about letting themselves off the hook.
The ruling party’s attempt to protect its chairman has been pathetic. The party has talked about moving the dates of the prosecution’s summons for Mr. Chyung, and about calling the prosecutor-general to answer questions at the National Assembly. These not only go against Mr. Roh’s pledge to ensure the prosecution’s independence but is also a blatant pressuring of the prosecution. It is not too late for the ruling party to give up insisting on such obvious political strategies. The solution lies in coming back to what is right and just and obeying the law.
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