Where is the responsible party?Vote rigging and obstructing elections are the main characteristics of underdeveloped democracies. We believed such political activities had no place in 21st century Korea. But the massive cyberattack on the National Election Commission’s Web site during the Oct. 26 Seoul mayoral by-election testifies to the unceasing corruption in elections. The large-scale distributed denial-of-service attack was allegedly carried out by a chauffeur to Representative Choi Ku-sik, of the ruling Grand National Party, in an attempt to prevent young voters from finding their polling stations.
Besides the simple fact that just 200 zombie computers were enough to satisfy politicians’ appetite for election fraud in a high-tech era, the latest episode has exposed the backwardness of our politics even today, which is further aggravated by the irresponsible responses from the GNP and its counterpart Democratic Party after the fiasco.
The ruling party has persistently claimed that it had “nothing to do with the incident” and says it will “carefully watch the progress of the police investigation.” GNP Chairman Hong Joon-pyo did not apologize for the mishap until two days after it was revealed, although he said he was sorry about what the driver had done. If a man affiliated with the party is accused of being directly involved in the cataclysmic obstruction of an election, the ruling party should sincerely apologize to the people and express its regret about what happened. And if it is a responsible party, it must proclaim it will find the accomplices immediately. Yet the GNP is doing its best to shake off its responsibility by distancing itself from the scandal.
The GNP has given us the impression that it will only reluctantly invoke its right to launch a parliamentary investigation into the case. There is no one, including Hong, who will take responsibility for that, and Choi has already resigned from his post in the party’s public affairs office.
Now there is a new rumor spreading on social networking services that an NEC insider was involved in the cyberattack, as well as plenty of talk about who was behind the attack, which may eventually lead the public to turn its back on the administration.
We don’t want to believe that the GNP orchestrated such a horrific scheme ahead of the Seoul mayoral by-election. Yet it can hardly rid itself of public discontent over this new blunder. It is time for the party to devise a plan to put itself through a thorough verification process in order to dispel groundless suspicions.