Sure path to victory

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Sure path to victory

With the June 2 local elections over, it is time for all of us - candidates, political parties and voters - to cool down and return to ordinary life. An election should be a festival for the entire nation, but it demands that people respect the election results. More important than who won is how hard and efficiently those who were elected will work for their constituents.

Everyone, even close friends, can argue over which candidate should be elected, but such hostilities should not linger once the election is over. Voters should acknowledge that the election was decided by the entire community. Citizens should now support their new leaders by encouraging them to keep their promises while also watching what they do in office.

This election was more heated than any previous local elections due to the breakout of the Cheonan incident as well as the controversy over the four rivers restoration project. As a result, each candidate’s personality and pledges were overshadowed by these issues, depriving them of a genuine competition based on their agenda. Even the security issue was distorted depending on possible advantages or disadvantages for their election. Such abnormal practices should now be put to an end. Both the government and the political community should instead return to the normal operation of the nation.

The government already proved the warship Cheonan was sunk by North Korea. Still, the opposition attacked only the government because they feared the incident would help unite conservative voters in the election. Meanwhile, the Lee Myung-bak administration is already seeking an “exit strategy,” reversing its earlier position based on the strong reaction to the North. After such a shift, it was reasonable for the opposition camp to suspect that the ruling party was trying to exploit the Cheonan incident for political gain.

Both the ruling and opposition camps should now have a serious discussion about the wisest choice for our country. The most urgent job is to adopt a strong resolution regarding the Cheonan tragedy in the National Assembly. Scores of countries, including the United States, have already issued statements rebuking North Korea. It amounts to a dereliction of duty if the political parties engage in political fights over an issue to be submitted to the UN Security Council.

Politicians should always be cautious in trying to determine what the public wants. In the process, they may face factional internal conflicts or could be tempted to take advantage of the Cheonan incident. But they should never translate the results of this election to their own political advantage. Otherwise, they will surely face a much harsher judgment by the voters in future elections.
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