[EDITORIALS]GNP must reflect on itselfIt is really disappointing to watch how the Grand National Party is coping with the allegation that it received 10 billion won ($8.6 million) of illegal political funds from the SK Group. At first, the party said it had never received a penny. As the truth started to come to light bit by bit, the party began complaining that the investigation was politically motivated. We urge the party to wake up urgently, because it still seems to be unaware of the seriousness of the situation.
It was revealed slowly that Representative Choi Don-woong was not the only one involved in the matter. The party’s financial officials reportedly raised funds by soliciting the top 100 businesses under the orders of the party leadership. If the fund-raisings were legitimate, who would raise a question about them? The 10 billion won from the SK Group was undeniably illegal funds, and that is why prosecutors are probing the case.
And yet, lawmakers rushed to the prosecutors office en masse to complain, and the party chairman telephoned the prosecutor general to assert that the investigation was politically influenced.
If they were worried that several party leaders would be punished, they are way off the mark. Even if a political compromise ends the prosecutors’ investigation, will the people forgive the Grand National Party? The people demand an end to corrupt politics. They no longer want to see astronomical amounts of money going to elections, and slush funds and favors in return damage our economy.
Representative Lee Sang-soo, the Millennium Democratic Party’s secretary general during the presidential election, has said he also sought contributions from the top 100 companies. We therefore understand why the Grand Nationals are calling the investigation politically influenced. But such criticism can only be made after the party confesses its wrongdoing and asks for proper punishment.
The Grand National Party must lay bare everything and wait for the public’s judgment. Without complete introspection, the party will never be able to break the vicious circle of corruption and will never win the support of the people.