[EDITORIALS]A political showdown looms

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[EDITORIALS]A political showdown looms

The legislative elections are fast approaching, and the Blue House and opposition parties are hurtling toward a showdown. The president said he would participate in campaign activities despite the National Election Commission’s determination that such an act is illegal. The opposition parties are looking for a chance to impeach him. The people are feeling extremely uneasy because politics is being confronted by a catastrophe.
It is wrong for the Blue House to refute the election watchdog’s decision that President Roh Moo-hyun had violated the election law. There are valid laws and a constitutional institution provided an interpretation based on the law. Yet the Blue House is arguing unreasonably that the president’s rights must be protected. Is it questioning the legitimacy of the election commission’s decision?
“The president can also make public his political opinions in the future,” the Blue House said, warning that the president will continue to make controversial remarks. The president and the Blue House should have set a model of a law-abiding spirit, but they are now ignoring the laws. Who, then, will possibly respect laws?
Mr. Roh and the Blue House should accept the election commission’s decision and make a formal apology and promise to prevent similar incidents. If they think the election law is wrong, they should find ways to revise it legitimately.
The opposition parties should not abuse the situation politically. The Grand Nationals and Millennium Democrats are getting ready to impeach the president in an unprecedented move. They must calmly evaluate if Mr. Roh has provided a sufficient reason for impeachment.
They must also remember that the legislative elections ― the midterm evaluation of the president ― will take place in only 40 days. The people’s opinions will be displayed through the election outcome.
The ruling party should refrain from provoking the opposition. Aside from Mr. Roh’s openly stated support for Our Open Party, it has cornered the opposition parties by various means. The party has made public numerous pork-barrel election pledges and invited senior officials such as ministers and vice ministers to run in the elections. Such a strategy has prompted desperation among opposition lawmakers.
The party, whose support group overlaps with that of the Millennium Democrats, undermined the Millennium Democrats’ power base. It also enticed Grand National Party-affiliated local government officials while that party was hit by the prosecution’s probes of election funds. It is thus not surprising that the opposition parties are now resorting to a drastic measure. We have serious and sincere advice for both the ruling and opposition parties. They must not reach the point of no return.
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