A test of leadershipStaff in the camp of Park Geun-hye, the former chairwoman of the Grand National Party, were involved in illegally obtaining Lee Myung-bak’s registration document. The head of the Mapo team, a support group for Park, hired someone to obtain Lee’s identification document. It has not been confirmed yet what the document was used for. But it is very likely that this incident is related to Uri Party lawmaker Kim Hyuk-kyu’s suspicion that Lee, a former mayor of Seoul, registered an address while not being resident at the location.
One might think that acquiring a personal registration document is not a big deal. But the key is that it was obtained illegally, violating laws governing the personal identification registry. To violate the law in a bid to reveal a rival’s weak spots as part of an election strategy is against the principles which Park has claimed she stands for. That cannot be sanctioned if democracy is to prosper. The person who holds the office of president is required to have strict moral values.
If one camp has a suspicion about its rival, it can demand explanations and answers. But the Mapo team didn’t do that. It is highly probable that it leaked the information to the Uri Party, its main rival, to create a problem. The date when the Mapo team acquired Lee’s document is the same as the date on the document that Kim used when revealing Lee’s actions. This is sly political maneuvering. The GNP cannot behave in this way and survive.
It is said that Park scolded the people involved for not abiding by her principles and the law. Hong Sa-duk, the head of the camp, apologized to the people and the party members for mismanaging his organization. But his apology is not enough. To describe how Park responded to this incident is not enough either. It is probable that Park had no idea about this act until it was reported, but it was her staff which acted illegally. No president can avoid responsibility for their aides’ wrongdoing. A leader has a duty to explain his or her staff’s misdeeds because a leader must take responsibility for having such people on his or her staff. So far, Park has failed this test of leadership.