No forgivenessWhere is the presidential election campaign going? The campaign should be a process that lets voters discover the policies and character of the presidential candidates, so they can make the right choice. But the leaders of the ruling circle have launched negative campaigns to confuse the people and make it difficult for them to make a proper judgment. That is political maneuvering and a challenge to democracy.
Chang Young-dal, the floor leader of the Uri Party, said on Tuesday that if Park Geun-hye, the former chairwoman of the Grand National Party, or Lee Myung-bak, the former Seoul mayor, becomes the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party, the Uri Party can win for sure because the Uri Party has information to ensure that.
Even though he refused to clarify, everybody understood that he meant information about corruption.
The president is in a very important position, so if there are crucial flaws with some of the presidential candidates, they must be revealed so the people can judge them. If Chang has information about the opposition party candidates’ corruption, he must publicize it immediately. If he only wants to raise suspicion and cause chaos he will be criticized for pulling a political stunt. He was a victim of political maneuvering. It will be a pity if he tries to follow the negative political customs of the past.
In the last presidential election, there were suspicions that a strong contender was corrupt. It was alleged that his sons dodged the draft, that his aides received $200,000 in bribes and that his camp received an illegal donation of 1 billion won from a construction company. But, once the election was over, these claims all turned out to be false. The election results could not be reversed. Nobody apologized. So we must not be misled by political maneuvers again.
If the information that Chang says he has is crucial, it must be revealed who collected it and for what purpose. In the past, the national intelligence agency collected such information and submitted it to the ruling party.
Some members of the Grand National Party suspect that the Blue House has had a hand in all this.
In March, Lee Kang-rae, who used to be an official of the national intelligence agency, and is now the head of a committee to create a new party, said that the Grand National presidential hopefuls can be defeated by a simple negative campaign.
If a government agency took part in manufacturing such data, it will not be forgiven.