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[Editorial] Politics without Principle

Posted February. 25, 2002 09:25,   


Han Hwa-Gap, a standing advisor of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) who is running for the party`s presidential nomination race, attacked one of his contenders Rhee In-Je, another standing advisor, that "A person who holds the tradition and legitimacy of the MDP should become the presidential candidate. But, Rhee does not have such a legitimacy." Han even mentioned the `expulsion of Rhee In-Je` by saying that, "Because an illegitimate person manages the race with schemes and lies, such a candidate should be expelled from the party in order to make a just and clean race."

We do not want to say all kinds of things about the disputes among the MDP`s hopefuls. The judgement on the disputes belongs to the delegates, party members, and general electoral college of the MDP who will participate in the party election. However, the criticism on Rhee In-Je`s legitimacy cannot overlooked because this issue raised by Han, who came from the `legitimate group of the present government` represents the ruling power`s political pattern without principle.

Rhee In-Je`s People`s New Party merged with the National Congress for New Politics in September 1998. Rhee was appointed as the Chairman of the Election Committee of the Democratic Party, which was founded in January 2000 and elected as a member of the Supreme Council at a party convention in August 2000. If Han wants to raise the issue of Rhee`s legitimacy, he had to oppose the merge of the parties. After keeping silence on the issue, Han said that "Rhee should be expelled from the party because he lacks legitimacy." Han`s claim is politically immoral.

We do not want to defend Rhee`s identity. His `objection to the result of party election` is still an object of people`s criticism. What we want to say is that the present ruling group has practiced shallow-minded politics, `using people when it needs and abandoning them when it does not need`.

Present government raised people`s distrust and disillusion with politics through the repetitive collusive union and separation of DJP for last four years. Meanwhile, self-righteous sayings, such as `a fence-sitter is an object to choose not to respect` have thrived in the ruling party. The ruling group should reflect on oneself before it criticizes others.