[EDITORIALS]Roh backers creating a divide

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[EDITORIALS]Roh backers creating a divide

President Roh Moo-hyun’s supporters have decided to form a group called “People’s Participation 0415” to back their choices of candidates for the 17th legislative elections. In a democratic society, citizens’ active involvement in politics is encouraging. And yet, we strongly suspect that the group was formed with the intention of helping a specific political party.
The membership of People’s Participation 0415 confirms our suspicions. Nosamo, a shortened name for the group “People who love Roh Moo-hyun,” had initiated the so-called Roh-phoon, the wind that supports Mr. Roh, at the 2002 presidential election. Nosamo members are largely participating in People’s Power, another constituent of the People’s Participation 0415. Radio 21, an Internet broadcaster, and Surprise, an Internet webzine, are also strong supporters of Mr. Roh.
Furthermore, these groups organized the first anniversary of the presidential election victory on Dec. 12. Mr. Roh attended the event and urged them to “continue the citizens’ revolution.” This clearly shows the link between Mr. Roh’s request and the launch of the People’s Participation 0415.
The group’s activities must be differentiated from those of other civic groups. It seems undeniable that the group was formed with a motivation to help Mr. Roh and the Our Open Party in the April legislative elections.
Political movements that lack objectivity and neutrality are nothing more than a political party activity. That’s why opposition parties are labeling People’s Participation 0415 as an auxiliary organ of Our Open Party.
The group’s catch phrase is also provoking. Taking into account that expressions of Internet users often differ from ordinary usage, it is still irritating to hear the slogan “Let’s raise 100,000 soldiers.” Together with Mr. Roh’s “citizens’ revolution” remark, it creates uneasiness. Do they see the legislative elections as a war? Roh supporters seem to think they’re on the eve of a revolution.
Their initiatives are likely to cause confrontations between pro-Roh and anti-Roh groups. If the split in our society worsens, we, along with Mr. Roh, have to take up the burden. We urge Roh supporters refrain from provocative initiatives.
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