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Cheong Wa Dae Plans to Sue Lee Myung-bak

Posted September. 07, 2007 08:14,   


Cheong Wa Dae plans to bring a libel suit against Grand National Party (GNP) presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak and GNP ranking officials for spreading disinformation. On September 6, the GNP responded that it would invoke its parliament right to investigate the government for the illegal secret investigation into candidate Lee. The GNP said it considers appointing special prosecutors to look into a tax scandal involving former Cheong Wa Dae protocol secretary Jeong Yun-jae, and former Dongguk University professor Shin Jeong-ah’s forgery of her academic degree.

The GNP talks about parliament investigation into the Government-

GNP leader Kang Jae-seob criticized at a GNP leadership meeting, “Cheong Wa Dae indiscriminately sued the Constitutional Court, the media and many citizens. As if that was not enough, the president, who should be neutral, plans to sue one of presidential candidates. Is this a comedy or what?”

Kang added, “Some students act up just to get attention; in suing Lee, is Cheong Wa Dae pulling the same trick to draw attention to itself? The government should behave itself.”

GNP spokesperson Park Hyeong-jun said in the leadership meeting, “The presidential election is now only 100 days away and the incompetent government is employing every tactic possible to keep its power from the GNP. It is suing the front runner.”

Park also said, “Corruption of the president’s closest aides is now coming to light. And Cheong Wa Dae is trying to divert the public’s attention away from damaging scandals. Suing Lee is one such way.”

He continued on to say, “The government made the National Tax Service and National Intelligence Service to secretly investigate candidate Lee. We will get to the bottom of the case through parliamentary investigation.”

In a telephone interview, the GNP spokesman said, “GNP whip Ahn Sang-soo will lead the parliamentary investigation very soon.”

Ahn emphasized at the leadership meeting, “If Cheong Wa Dae wants to sue, it should do so in President’s name so that later we can hold the president responsible for suing over such a trivial thing even after his tenure is over.”

He went on to say, “A large scale outdoor rally and gathering needed to be organized to denounce what Cheong Wa Dae is doing.” Lawmaker Lee Kang-doo also criticized by saying, “What Cheong Wa Dae is planning amounts to a declaration of war against democracy.”

“Do they intend to elect Lee…”-

Lee Myung-bak participated in a national party convention held at the Olympic Park. When asked “What do you think about Cheong Wa Dae’s plan to sue you?” Lee answered “As they are yet to sue me, let’s wait and see. I will not take any action at this point.” Some GNP insiders say, “Cheong Wa Dae plans to sue Lee because it wants to initiate a negative campaign throughout the entire election season.”

A United New Democratic Party (UNDP) hopeful, Sohn Hak-gyu, the former Gyeonggi Do governor, sarcastically said in an interview with Yonhap News, “Suing Lee is funny. Does Cheong Wa Dae really have nothing else to do? Does the president really want to see Lee become the head of Korea?”

Defense measures or involvement in the election?-

The PR office of Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday posted a written statement on its website to retort the GNP’s accusation. The posting reads: “We are not attacking the GNP and Lee politically. Cheong Wa Dae is a victim and we want to restore our damaged image.”

However, political circles see the Cheong Wa Dae’s plan to sue as the president’s strong willingness to get involved in the December election.”

Lee talked about a political conspiracy theory by Cheong Wa Dae a few months ago, but Cheong Wa Dae chose to sue at a time when every single political movement is critical in the run-up to the election.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said, “There is no change in our position that we want to sue Lee and the GNP as a means of self-defense. There is some level of paperwork involved so the letter of complaint will be filed with the court on September 7.”

Political observers say that Cheong Wa Dae’s plan to sue is a red herring to divert the public’s attention away from presidential aides corruption scandals given the fact that chiefs of staff Moon Jae-in held a press conference to say that Cheong Wa Dae will submit the letter of complaint, but since then it has delayed any action. It was September 5 when Cheong Wa Dae announced its intention to take Lee to the court of law. September 5 was also the day when the UNDP announced the result of its pre-primaries. And, September 7 is a day when Lee and Park Geun-hye meet for the first time since the GNP primary to discuss cooperative measures.