Refuse illegal ordersHow is it that the process of presidential campaigning has turned people into outlaws? Nevertheless, the National Election Commission, which should administer this process, is merely confining itself to approaching the matter with caution while the president’s aide mocks it, calling it a culprit of past dictatorships that sides with the opposition.
A bigger concern is that President Roh is egging on all of the public servants to continue their illegal practices.
The day before yesterday, President Roh ordered government institutions to review the feasibility of the policies that presidential candidates have pledged during their campaigns, then submit the information to the National Assembly.
He persistently called it an “order from the president.” He added that they should not think which party would be helped or hurt by their studies, and that such a study did not violate election laws.
This means they do not have to fulfill their duty to stay neutral as public servants.
As if his own actions that violate the election laws are not enough, he now wants to mobilize the entire government to interfere in the election.
It is clear which candidate and party these reports will criticize and which they will praise, considering the fact that Roh is ordering the study.
The controversial report that the Construction Ministry made over Lee Myung-bak’s grand canal pledge is a good example of how the government institutes will handle their studies.
Eventually, the president will have ordered every public servant to make electioneering materials.
Even if the order came from the president, a public servant who makes illegal documents cannot be excused.
An illegal order should be refused.
The National Election Commission said it is investigating whether the grand canal report violated the election law. But more such reports are expected to appear.
This means the election watchdog has more work to do.
It should investigate each case first, then also give a stern warning to President Roh, who made the order in the first place.
The prosecutors should also immediately launch an investigation, because a clause in the election law allows them to do so.
That way, they can be freed from the criticism that prosecutors usually only investigate the opposition.