[EDITORIALS]Election rumor-mongering

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[EDITORIALS]Election rumor-mongering

On April 16, the Uri Party accused the Mayor of Seoul, Lee Myung-bak, of corruption. It is hard to believe the governing party made such a flimsy accusation. They didn’t bother to look at the facts. Kim Han-gill, the party’s floor leader, even talked about the announcement in advance, calling it “astonishing information.”
The Uri Party argued that Mr. Lee and a former head of the Seoul Tennis Concil had a party at a luxurious country house and that several women in their 30s, including a female singing teacher, attended their party.
However, an aide to the mayor explained that it wasn’t actually a luxury country house ― it was an ordinary family house in the countryside ― and that the party was a simple tennis club gathering.
The Uri Party members can’t prove their accusations. The Uri Party members used provocative words like a “party at a luxury country house,” “young woman lecturer” and “special gathering of party animals.”
Their intention is clear: They want to give the impression that Mr. Lee behaved improperly with several young women.
But as public opinion turns against them, they insist that they simply revealed the facts. It is a shameful act.
In the 2002 presidential election, Roh Moo-hyun and his party kept hurling accusations against Lee Hoi-chang, the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party.
They complained that a person in Mr. Lee’s campaign had received a bribe of $200,000, that Mr. Lee had tried to hide the fact that his first son had illegally avoided military service, and that the wife of the candidate had received an illegal donation of 1 billion won (approximately $1.1 million) from a construction company.
These charges fell through after the election, but the result of the election was irreversible. That was nothing less than fraud against the citizens. As if that wasn't enough, the Uri Party is playing these shameful election campaign strategies again.
The Grand National Party said it would enact a law against political maneuvering to prevent repeated occurances like this, but the legislators who falsely accused the mayor should be punished. The leaders of the Uri Party should make an official apology as well.
The voters should also punish them to bring an end to the campaign tactic of making endless baseless accusations.
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