Grief still blinds DemocratsThe Democratic Party’s attempts to use former President Roh Moo-Hyun’s demise for political purposes has cast a dark shadow over state affairs.
The Democratic Party has blocked the opening of the June National Assembly and is planning a large-scale rally with progressive political parties and civic organizations on the anniversary of the June 1987 demonstration and the anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration of South Korea and North Korea.
These moves go against the essence of the former president’s death and they are not the right way to resolve social conflict.
On April 7, when former President Roh admitted that his wife had accepted an illegal donation, Democratic Party Spokesman Noh Young-min said the party had agreed that people on the Park Yeon-cha list who are suspected of involvement in the bribery scandal must be investigated without exception, whether they belong to the ruling or opposition parties.
The party has officially said that the prosecutors’ probe into the Park scandal, including the investigation into the former president, was fair and necessary. But after seeing how the nation mourned its deceased former leader, the opposition party has changed its tune and is calling the prosecutors’ work nothing more than political revenge.
Although the investigation was fair, it is true that the process was harsh. Even the chief prosecutor has admitted as much.
The Democratic Party has suggested three major reform tasks for the prosecutors’ office: creating a department that deals with corruption in the civil service, abolishing the Central Investigation Department in the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ office, and punishing officials who leak details of cases before the person under investigation has been indicted.
But these issues are something to be handled in the National Assembly, not to be shouted out in Seoul City Plaza.
Only six days before the former president took his life, the Democratic Party presented a new plan and said it would abandon the paradigm of leftist or rightist ideology and instead seek a third way. But the party is now intoxicated by the people’s grief over Roh’s death and going back to its old practices of political instigation and fights over ideologies.
Recent elections prove that these old practices are a failure, but some surveys indicate the Democratic Party is enjoying higher approval ratings than the Grand National Party thanks to the “Roh Moo-hyun effect.”
But if the party is busy only with empty political fights instead of presenting practical alternatives, the effect will not last for long.