Time to clean houseThe political arena stinks badly as the election draws near. It smells of rotten waste. Politicians whom the people have discarded or forgotten are reappearing and raising their voice. They come forward and say they want to restore their honor, as if there were some honor left in them.
Instead, they should keep a low profile, reflecting on their corrupt political actions of the past.
Lee Hoi-chang’s announcement that he will run for the presidency as an independent candidate set this all off. People who were involved in his bribery and illegal fund raising scandals and other opportunistic politicians gather around him.
Choi Don-woong, a former National Assemblyman, handled the Grand National Party’s finances for the 2002 presidential election. He was indicted on charges of requesting 10 billion won ($11 million) from the SK Group.
Former lawmaker Suh Sang-mok was arrested on charges of raising 16.6 billion won from 23 conglomerates, using his influence as a manager of the National Tax Service for the 1997 presidential election.
Kang Sam-jae, a former member of the National Assembly, was indicted for using nearly 120 billion won of the National Security Agency’s budget in the 1995 local election and the 1996 general election. The Supreme Court found him innocent, saying it was very likely that the money was left over from the campaign fund of former President Kim Young-sam. But it remains true that he used a huge amount of illegal money on campaigns.
The Grand National Party nominated Kim Hyuk-kyu for the position of Gyeonggi governor three times. But when the incumbent administration entered office, he left the GNP and moved to the ruling party.
Shin Kook-hwan moved from the New Korea Party to the United Liberal Democrats Party and to the People First Party before he ran in the Democratic Party primary. He recently left the Democratic Party, too. These two are also rumored to be joining Lee Hoi-chang’s camp. It is hard to understand what Lee plans to do with all these people.
The people saw the very worst side of our politics this year. The two former presidents try to wield their influence on the presidential election. Politicians repeatedly gathered and separated. Now, corrupt politicians are striving to resurrect their careers. They do this because they have no respect for the people. We hope that election day on Dec. 19 will be a big cleaning day for the political field.