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[Editorial] Opposition Parties Spreading False Rumor

Posted December. 03, 2009 07:25,   


The main opposition Democratic Party and the minor conservative Liberty Forward Party have launched a protest outside the National Assembly to oppose the planned revision of the Sejong City project. Both parties will hold a massive rally in the Chungcheong region, visit 10 areas where innovative cities will be built, and urge the people to oppose the government’s change to the original plan for the administrative district. With the parties set to launch a protest outside parliament and instigate the people to oppose a change to the original plan, conflict and confusion over the project will definitely worsen.

In a public debate yesterday, Prime Minister Chung Un-chan was asked which state offices could be relocated to Sejong City. He answered by saying, “No administrative body could be moved to the city. Or all administrative bodies could be moved to the city. We’re considering all kinds of options.” In a luncheon with leaders of the ruling Grand National Party, President Lee Myung-bak said, “We need to make an all-out effort to persuade Koreans. If our efforts fail, we cannot push through our policy.” It seems the government plans to do everything it can to revise the Sejong City plan and persuade Koreans, but will not unilaterally impose its opinion.

The Sejong City project can undergo change only if a revised bill to that effect is passed by the National Assembly. This means political parties will have many opportunities to openly discuss the matter. Opposition parties should not protest outside the National Assembly and fight a life-or-death struggle. For their part, President Lee and Chung have said they have no choice but to revise the project. Accordingly, they should come up with a viable alternative instead of creating the impression of a lack of will to revise the plan. Their statements could be considered irresponsible and raise suspicion that the government is getting cold feet over changing the bill.

In a meeting Tuesday in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, Democratic Party leader Chung Sye-kyun said, “The projects to build an administrative comprehensive city and innovative cities are twins or siblings. If the project for the administrative comprehensive city is scrapped, that of innovative cities will also be annulled.” President Lee and Chung, however, have pledged that the innovative city project will proceed as planned even if the Sejong City project is revised. Though the two men reiterated their promise yesterday, the two opposition parties repeated their groundless rumor. It is wrong to exploit public fears over reverse discrimination against other regions resulting from the revision of the Sejong City project .

The two opposition parties should take logical steps to draw the best solution via rational discussion. It is inappropriate to take extreme measures such as spreading a false rumor about innovative cities, threatening to have party lawmakers resign en masse, and instigating innocent citizens over misinformation.