[Letter to the editor]Return to rationality
The Grand National Party’s presidential candidate, Lee Myung-bak, has been cleared of allegations of financial fraud. The BBK scandal has been at the center of Korean politics for most of the last 12 months, looming as a factor to influence the result of the upcoming presidential election. With only two weeks left before the election, the rationality of Korean politics has been absorbed by this fraud-ridden political spectre and wrangling.
The prosecutors’ announcement confirmed that Lee is not guilty of collaborating with Kim Kyung-joon to rig stock prices of Optional Ventures and that he is not the real owner of BBK. Instead, Kim himself was shown [allegedly to be] guilty of stock-price manipulation, embezzlement and document forgery. The claims by the liberal United New Democratic Party were officially proven to be groundless and mere political engineering against Lee.
The sound democratic development of Korea has been troubled by this sort of political manipulation and groundless attacks against political rivals.
On the morning of Dec. 6, the ruling party’s candidate Chung Dong-young held a press conference to declare that the result of the prosecutors’ investigation could not be accepted by his party, and he will fight with people until the real truth comes out from behind the scenes.
What a shameful stain on Korea’s political culture! Foreign observers will notice how Korean politicians dare to interpret the public offices’ investigation results their own way, ignore public authority and claim their own political gains while refusing to accept the basic principle to abide by democratic laws.
Politicians should stop fruitless arguments and wrangling over whether the investigation results are true or not. Instead, they should focus on a rational policy competition to draw peoples’ support in the coming presidential election.
Park Tae-Woo, visiting professor at National Chengchi University, Taiwan