[EDITORIALS]Pot calls the kettle blackPolitical bickering over campaign funds in the 2002 presidential election is shaping into one big spectacle. After the prosecution confirmed that 10 billion won ($8.5 million) of illegal SK Group funds were funneled to the opposition Grand National Party, the Millennium Democratic Party, from which President Roh recently resigned, continued its daily disclosures about his “illegal” campaign funds. And the de facto governing Our Open Party is lashing back with accusations of wrongdoing by the Millennium Democratic Party during the legislative elections in April 2000 ― never mind that they were members of that party back then. A disclosure feeds yet another disclosure and politicians are slinging mud like never before. It’s an ugly sight for voters.
First, then, let’s clarify some points. The explanation given by Representative Lee Sang-soo of Our Open Party and the party leadership is lacking. We find it hard to understand why Mr. Lee ― a former Millennium Democrat who was general affairs chief for the Roh Moo-hyun campaign ― took with him blank receipts. That raises questions about possible manipulation of the books. And what are these new allegations of false bookkeeping and money-laundering? Where did they come from?
Representative Lee has growled about other irregularities in his former party, saying in effect, “If I die, you die too.”
Continuing political wrangling will not help Our Open Party, which says it champions a new politics devoid of corruption. Who really believes that President Roh Moo-hyun’s campaign expenditures ended with the amounts the MDP registered with the National Election Commission? If Our Open Party does not come clean about its funds, it can kiss goodbye to any “Mandela-style” solution ― confess and get a pardon.
A party that upholds “new politics” should behave accordingly. How do they expect to persuade the public to rally behind political reform when they act like old politicians? If the party is truly committed to political reform, it should be the first one to come forward and confess its wrongdoing.