Politics and truthThe Grand National Party’s examination of its presidential hopefuls is becoming overheated as politicians fight with the truth. Lee Myung-bak, the former Seoul mayor, and Park Geun-hye, former chairwoman of the party, are competing against each other. Now, the Blue House and the Uri Party have entered the battle. But both the sides raising suspicions and the sides trying to explain them away have not done their best. Lee’s camp raised the suspicion that the Blue House has colluded with the Uri Party, and the Uri Party submitted a form demanding a parliamentary investigation into suspicions surrounding the presidential hopefuls in the Grand National Party. Examination and verification of candidates cannot be done properly when the process is turned into a political row.
Verification of the presidential hopefuls must be done strictly. It will be too late if we regret our choice later. As seen during the impeachment crisis three years ago, we cannot choose the president and then replace him with another simply because we do not like him any longer. We have to leave the country to him for a term of five years. Thus, we must check what the candidates have done in the past to see if they have the right disposition to be president and to ensure that they will not pursue personal interests and abuse their position. The verification process in campaigns for both the party primary and the presidential election is a process in which questions must be raised and answers given on behalf of the people. When suspicions are raised, they must have firm foundations. To spread rumors without grounds is just an attempt to attack rivals. We have already experienced how backbiting can change election results, and we could not reverse the result once the election was over.
When politicians give explanations to counter suspicions, they must do their best to prove them. Explanations are not part of a political row but are answers to the people’s concerns. They must think of them as opportunities to clear rumors. The explanations that the presidential hopefuls have given so far are not persuasive enough.
But the Uri Party’s demand for a parliamentary investigation into a certain candidate is unreasonable. If this verification process becomes a political fight, it will be more difficult to discover the truth. If politicians want to make it a political fight, it’s the same as saying that they do not want to reveal the truth. In particular, the president, his aides and the government, who must serve as fair managers of the election, must not intervene in the verification process.