[EDITORIALS]Party’s pledges not enoughTwo Grand National Party members were accused of taking bribes to nominate candidates to their party for the May 31 local elections. Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the party, showed her resolve to punish people who accept bribes by saying, “We need to keep our promises with the citizens.” Lee Jae-oh, the floor leader, also gave an official apology to the citizens. “We will carry out an internal investigation and out any party members involved in any illegal practices or bribery,” he said.
Whenever controversial incidents like this have happened, the Grand National Party has apologized to the citizens and promised to thoroughly reform the party.
When they lost the general election and the Assembly elections, the party said it would change itself thoroughly. When some of the party members were accused of accepting bribes by the car-full, the party also said, “We will do our best to get rid of all the corruption.”
However, their words always turned out to be gestures. And now we are witnessing the result: the party’s senior members are accused of taking bribes. Do the Grand Nationals know why the party’s approval rating stands at around 30 percent, even though the ratings for President Roh and his party are very low? That is because the party lacks morality, so the citizens don’t think of the party as an alternative.
The opposition party said it was the first time in the party’s history that members were reported to prosecutors.
That is a silly remark. All the citizens know they filed the complaints because they had no other choice and because they were cornered by the people who had given the bribes and but weren’t nominated for office.
If the party's determination to clean its primary procedures was strong enough, this type of incident wouldn’t happen. But still, there is an opportunity. The party should carry out internal investigations into the cases of its own members who allegedly took bribes.
They should take the risk of losing half their members. Then the citizens would appreciate their sincere efforts. They shouldn’t be afraid of the results of the upcoming local elections. If the party covers up its members’ wrongdoings for the sake of the local elections, it will be impossible to revive the party.
A crisis can offer an opportunity. The party’s leaders and younger members who are not involved in bribery should take this crisis as an opportunity to reform the party. This is their last chance.