[EDITORIALS]Fair races need good losersPresidential candidates have started to reveal their intentions to run in party primary elections. They must feel impatient right before the Chuseok holiday, which will be important in shaping and spreading public opinion.
But the presidential election is scheduled for December of next year. There are 14 months to go. The primary elections for the Grand National Party will be held next June and those for the Uri Party will probably be held later, because the party has decided to throw its elections open to all voters.
But presidential hopefuls have already started competing, and overheated competition is expected. This will worsen the lame-duck status of the president, who is likely to be overlooked in the campaign din.
Next week, after the Chuseok holiday is over, the inspections and audits by the National Assembly will start, along with the regular session of the National Assembly. Interest in the presidential election should not have an influence on the regular jobs of the National Assembly, but it probably will.
As is the case in each political party, the parties’ first order of business is not properly done because party members are busy working on behalf of presidential hopefuls. It is hard to expect them to produce proper policies and to do the necessary legislation work.
Fair competition is the most important element in the next presidential election. A party’s primary election is also part of the presidential election process.
In regard to the Grand National Party’s primary elections, half of the people answered, “It will be hard to select only one candidate,” according to a survey conducted by the JoongAng Ilbo. This does not mean they think the candidates are all very attractive; it means they do not have trust in the candidates to accept the result of fair contests.
Having fair competition and accepting the results are the basic order of democracy. People who do not abide by these principles are enemies of democracy.
If a person who fails to convince people that he or she will abide by these principles becomes a presidential candidate of the Grand National Party and then president, it would be very unfortunate for the people. If this is not what the candidates have in mind, they should make it clear that they will accept the results of the primaries and punish aides who hint at fighting to the bitter end.
In 1987, opposition parties failed to produce one candidate, and military rule was prolonged. Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, who refused to give way to each other, made all kinds of lame excuses, but the only reason for their behavior was that both wanted to become president.
We hope that a new leader will make people comfortable instead of thinking of their self-interest.