Korea will choose its next president in one month. No doubt, this presidential election has been one of the most chaotic in our history.
Allegations of camouflaged employment and tax evasion charges involving presidential hopeful Lee Myung-bak have been brought to light.
As we are well aware, the front-runner has enjoyed a 50 percent approval rating for a long time.
And now with the return of accused swindler Kim Gyeong-jun, we are anticipating more chaos.
Against this backdrop, a leading figure who has served in key posts -- including prime minister, ruling party leader, chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, chairman of the National Election Commission and chief justice of the Supreme Court of Korea -- abruptly announced his bid for the presidency.
He threw away principles that he has advocated throughout his life. As its approval rating plunged to 10 percent, the ruling party broke up and transformed itself into a new political party, designed just for the presidential race.
The ruling party’s candidate was elected by a hair’s breadth, amid protests that the vote had not been properly conducted and “ghost” voters had been in the electoral college. The ruling party forgets all its flaws and unscrupulously calls for the main opposition party candidate, who underwent legal electoral procedures in the party’s primary, to step down, just as Kim Gyeong-jun landed in Korea. The Democratic Party has long said that the United New Democratic Party is behind failed national policies, but the party suddenly announced a merger with the UNDP. The political circles seem to be in turmoil.
The conservatives chose their candidate by going through fair procedures in the primary. If an investigation into Kim Gyeong-jun reveals critical flaws, the decision on whether the candidate should be changed or not will be made.
But even before Kim Gyeong-jun had reached Korean shores, however, the former and current presidential aspirants had been fighting each other. That’s when the strange word “spare candidate” surfaced, casting doubt over the conservatives’ competence and their ability to rule.
The Kim Gyeong-jun scandal should be dealt with by the prosecution, and the political parties should keep calm as the election draws nearer.
In the National Assembly, a draft of next year’s budget is on the agenda. Who is going to pay much attention to a budget of such significance, if everyone is absorbed in the presidential race? Candidates and political parties are short-lived, whereas the nation is permanent.
So wake up and focus on the current state of affairs for the remaining month.
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