[EDITORIALS]A good lawmaker bows out

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[EDITORIALS]A good lawmaker bows out

It is to our great regret that Representative Oh Se-hoon declared that he would not run again. In order to develop our disappointing politics more constructively, people like Mr. Oh should have continued his efforts to correct and to achieve what he had desired: clean politics. His chance of re-election seemed promising, and we believe he was holding an advantageous position to fight for the goal.
Mr. Oh’s declaration provides an opportunity to think about a structural contradiction of our politics, which so-called “good quality” politicians cannot tolerate.
As reported previously, political parties competed fiercely to invite Mr. Oh as their candidate at the last legislative elections. After Mr. Oh joined the Grand National Party, he won with more than twice the number of votes that his ruling party rival received. As a lawmaker, Mr. Oh was highly rated in the surveys by media and civic groups on legislators’ performances.
He also courageously stepped down from his post at a GNP local chapter in order to have transparent and fair GNP primaries to select the upcoming legislative election candidates.
When some senior members of the Grand National Party attacked Mr. Oh’s character as he demanded an internal shake-up, Mr. Oh said, “I will give up my National Assembly seat with you, if you demand it.”
Such a politician will be leaving the political arena. Isn’t that the trend, that bad money drives out good money? Mr. Oh’s fellow lawmakers, who downplayed Mr. Oh’s goal as selfish ambition or a manipulative political move, must look back upon themselves. Their snub, perhaps, has driven away a promising first-term lawmaker, who said that he “agonized between the reality and the ideal.” We urge them to look within ― not only the Grand Nationals, but also others.
Politicians must put out serious efforts to reform politics by revising laws governing political parties, funds and elections. They should boldly give up their established rights and open up the National Assembly to more competent people. They have time before the National Assembly’s special session begins in February.
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