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[Editorial] Why Not Scrutinize By-Election Candidates

Posted August. 04, 2002 23:01,   


With the Aug. 8 by-elections only four days ahead, political parties seem too busy dealing with allegations to get themselves ready for the upcoming elections. The political circle is so preoccupied with allegations involving presidential candidates and party leaders that it hardly cares about 51 candidates running for 13 local seats, although the largest-scale by-elections could change the current political landscape.

Are we going to have by-elections or a presidential election? And the impression is that parties are illicitly agreeing to pull the wool over the public’s eye yet again.

We remember that they rejected the appointment of Chang Sang, President Kim`s nominee for prime minister, not long ago. Watching lawmakers grilling the nominee, people could not but asking, “Are those lawmakers free from similar accusations?”

Politicians must note that about one third of newly elected local representatives were already arrested less than two months since the June 13 local elections. And the controversy about qualifications of some elected officials has continued. In particular, of the 13 districts seeking new heads, 7 saw their local officials kicked out in link with illegal election campaigning.

An election can be compared to a confirmation, and election campaigns to hearings. Then, the election process must involve more thorough investigations than the confirmation so that people exercise their rights based on precise information.

We have learned the lesson over and over again that a political failure results from an election failure. Political parties must stop turning people’s attention from candidates and start to provide information about candidates so that people make right choices considering integrity and capabilities of candidates.

Voters, in turn, must look into the information carefully before casting their ballots. Reading campaign leaflets will be of good help at least.