[LETTERS to the editor]Lee Hoi-chang broke the rules
On Saturday in Pakistan, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, which suspended its Constitution. Troops blocked entry to the Supreme Court, which was scheduled to rule on Nov. 15 on whether Musharraf could run for president while still serving as army chief.
According to the Pakistani Constitution, a serving military official cannot run for elected office. Musharraf doesn’t seem to be ready to give up his military post, but he also wants to be a civilian president.
Therefore, many people believe he took this measure to stifle the independent judiciary and the free media, although he insisted he did it for stabilization.
On Sunday in Japan, Ichiro Ozawa, head of the Democratic Party, which controls the Upper House together with other opposition forces, announced abruptly that he would resign.
Before that announcement, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda reportedly proposed to Ozawa that his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito form a grand coalition with Ozawa’s Democratic Party of Japan.
In offering his resignation Sunday, Ozawa indicated that he was positive about Fukuda’s proposal for the LDP and the DPJ to start consultations on policy matters with the intention of forming a grand coalition. Ozawa said he would resign because the rejection by DPJ executives of the proposal was tantamount to a “vote of no confidence” against him.
But the proposal for such a grand coalition was abrupt. It also runs counter to the principle of constitutional politics.
It’s reported that Japanese people would regard such a coalition simply as a means of sharing power among major political parties for the sake of convenience.
In such a situation, the Diet’s function of checking the power of the government and the ruling bloc would become almost nil.
On Wednesday in South Korea, Lee Hoi-chang, a former chairman of the Grand National Party, left his own party to run in the Dec. 19 presidential election as an independent.
Had he taken part in the party’s primary in August, which selected Lee Myung-bak, the former Seoul mayor, as its candidate for the presidential election, under Korean election law Lee Hoi-chang could not run even though he left the party.
The former chairman apologized for breaking a vow he made five years ago to stay away from politics after he was revealed to have received illegal campaign funds.
He also asked his GNP colleagues for forgiveness for leaving the party, saying his actions were meant to save the country.
But as a member of the GNP, I can’t forgive such hypocrisy from a cowardly traitor who broke the rules.
Lee Jung-ho, researcher, policy committee, Grand National Party
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