Ruling party wrongdoingJust look at the state of this administration. A local public servants’ organization overpowered the government and the Prime Minister’s Office’s public ethics office, which was involved in the alleged illegal surveillance of a businessman, and is now suspected of tailing politicians. Moreover, a presidential secretary on labor affairs with no relation to the ethics office is said to have been routinely briefed on the surveillance reports. The country is being run by individuals who care only for their own self-interest. The ruling party’s floor leader boasts that the prosecution moves on his order. We cannot but question the party’s capacity to govern and whether we are safe in their hands.
We cannot let these suspicions go because they have all been raised by high-ranking officials of the ruling party. Four-term Grand National Party lawmaker Nam Kyung-pil said in a press conference that his wife had been under surveillance by the Prime Minister’s Office. The prosecution confirmed that Nam’s wife was the victim of illegal surveillance by the officials from the Prime Minister’s Office. Reps. Chung Doo-un and Jeong Tae-keun, close aides of the president, also claim they have been investigated. The office is also suspected of keeping tabs on members of the party’s opposition faction. It appears the clock has been turned back to the period of authoritarian military rule.
The Prime Minister’s Office’s public ethics office has neither the prerogative nor authority to investigate anyone. We must know who and why the office surveilled government and party officials. Some of the victims claim they were targeted because they called for the president’s brother Lee Sang-deuk to retire from politics. The timing of the surveillance and the office’s affiliation with members of the Yeongpo Club, an organization of public servants from the Yeongil and Pohang areas of North Gyeongsang, cannot be brushed aside as a coincidence. (Yeongpo is an abbreviation combining the names Yeongil and Pohang.) If found to be true, the government has been manipulated and abused by a private organization.
We are also shocked by a stunning comment from GNP floor-leader Kim Moo-sung. He said he has ordered the prosecution to acquit former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook due to requests from the opposition Democratic Party. He also bragged that he is “persuading” the prosecution not to summon opposition DP member Kang Sung-jong on suspicion of embezzlement. Secretary General Won Hee-ryong joined in to tout Kim’s claims.
The country is in serious trouble. The government must take stern disciplinary measures to shake the ruling party at its core if it wants to maintain any semblance of its dignity.