[EDITORIALS]A decisive electionThe presidential election will be held almost exactly one year from now on December 19, 2007. The presidential election, along with North Korea’s nuclear program, are the two most important factors in deciding the future of our country. Presidential elections are always important, but this one is more so because we have experienced a collapse of leadership during the last four years and we have critical issues to solve in almost all major sectors including the economy, national security, foreign policy, education and the real estate market.
This presidential election could be called the single most decisive factor in our nation’s future. Our choice could elevate our country to a higher level ― or send it crashing down. It will affect everything, including our economic prosperity, standing in foreign affairs. national security and democracy. We must make sure that our presidential election is a success and that means it must help us find our way back to social reconciliation and prosperity.
Our first and foremost task is to make sure that no irregularities and disorder cloud the election. Radical groups with particular agendas could, either on their own or with the help of outside forces, disrupt the election. The recent cases of alleged espionage by members of a secret political entity called the Ilsimhoe have shown us how deeply North Korea’s agents have infiltrated anti-American and pro-labor protest rallies.
The candidates in the presidential election must also play their part by making quality campaign promises and behaving with integrity. They should compete on the basis of their abilities rather than by slandering their opponents. They should pursue the good of their party rather than their own personal interests. Too often we have witnessed betrayals among and between our politicians that have damaged our society.
The candidates might be the protagonists, but it is the voters who make the final choice. Voters should judge carefully which candidates are reliable and which campaign promises would benefit the country. Let’s not be a crowd that applauds the wrong tunes.
The least President Roh Moo-hyun can do now is to make sure that the presidential election is conducted properly. He must not fall to the temptation of abusing his presidential position to create a power base for extending his influence after his term is over. Perhaps if this administration maintains political neutrality and upholds a fair presidential election, the public won’t judge its failures so harshly after it’s gone.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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