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[Editorial] The KDLP Should Not Defend Irregularities

Posted April. 04, 2004 22:18,   


It is highly likely that the Korea Democratic Labor Party (KDLP) will win seats in the April National Assembly elections. In a number of opinion polls, the KDLP came in third, outranking the Millennium Democratic Party. If the opinion polls are any indication, the class and ideological conflict would be meaningfully embraced by institutional politics.

However, the KDLP’s recent activities are just disappointing. This is because the party declared it would mobilize its 50,000 members in an all-out fight against government repression, referring to the disciplinary measures the government took against the endorsement of the KDLP by the Korea Teachers Union (KTU) and the Korea Government Employees Union (KGEU).

The endorsement of a political party by groups of civil servants or teachers is in breach of their electoral neutrality. This is why acting president Goh Kun stressed in a statement that the government would move sternly against such endorsement. How can a political party ignore government authority by defining legitimate measures as repression and by declaring an all-out struggle against them?

Like a game, there are rules for elections. When players and speculators violate rules, the game will be meaningless. The KDLP’s was not right in abetting the two groups in committing misdeeds, instead of encouraging them to respect the law.

The court’s refusal to issue an arrest warrant against the teachers’ union leader, which highlights the delicate difference in view between the justice department and the prosecution over disciplinary measures, would be hardly understood. It is suspicious that the government has lost its balance after being brought under the pressure of the KTU and the KGEU.

The KDLP must not defend wrongdoing. The government must not be swayed. The elections will be alive when the law is alive.