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[Editorial] Hastened Agreement for Single Candidacy, a Foregone Conclusion

[Editorial] Hastened Agreement for Single Candidacy, a Foregone Conclusion

Posted November. 18, 2002 22:53,   


The negotiation efforts made by the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the National Alliance 21 has taken a new twist just one day after they reached an agreement on detailed ways to field a single presidential candidate. As the likelihood is running high that TV debates and a public survey would not be carried out according to the agreement, there is mounting skepticism over the possibility of nominating a single candidate.

Such an adverse effect is, to some extent, a foregone conclusion. Presidential candidates Roh Moo-hyun and Chung Mong-joon have been expected to face obstacles as they hastened to agree on single candidacy. The two candidates, whose political background and ideology are totally different, have teamed up with each other in pursuit of victory in the presidential election. But they have been looking in other directions from each other.

As the newspaper already mentioned, the agreement to select a single candidate through a public survey is unprecedented in the world, heralding frictions between the two parties. When one candidate`s popularity becomes higher than the other`s, the significance of the method be dramatically reduced. On the other hand, if the two candidates compete neck-and-neck, the justification of the survey can be put in the hot water. Chung`s demand for embarking on a new round of negotiation seems to have to do with possible results of opinion pulls after the agreement for single candidacy.

It is careless for presidential candidate who are committed to running the nation for the next five years to nominate a single candidate based on the result of a public survey. In particular, Roh Moo-hyun, who was elected through the first-ever open primaries, should have made a public apology for giving up the `legitimacy of open primaries` and for pursuing single candidacy through a public survey.

Both parties agreed to hold three or four times of TV debates without considering the fairness of election campaign and the position of broadcasting systems. But the National Election Commission put brakes on the agreement by limiting TV debates to once.

It cannot be overlooked that even though whether to field a single candidate is the matter of the two parties, the procedure should be rational and sensible.