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People’s Party and Ahn Cheol-soo should make an apology.

People’s Party and Ahn Cheol-soo should make an apology.

Posted June. 28, 2017 07:20,   

Updated June. 28, 2017 07:27

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The minor opposition People’s Party formed an internal team to probe into the alleged fabrication of a recorded testimonial on the suspicion over the privilege given to President Moon Jae-in’s son in employment and urged for an investigation by independent counsel. Kim Dong-cheol, the party’s floor leader, said, “Evidence was fabricated which cannot be tolerated. However, it does not give indulgence to Moon’s alleged privileged employment.” The allegation itself should not be covered just because the tip-off was fabricated. But the People’s Party should reflect on itself whether it has at least morality to mention independent counsel.

Prosecutors will investigate Lee Yoo-mi, the party’s member who was arrested for allegedly manipulating testimony by a person who claimed Moon Joon-yong’s friend when he was studying abroad, Lee Jun-seo, a former member of the party’s supreme council who was tipped off by Lee, and Kim In-won, a lawyer who unveiled this. A voice recording released by the People’s Party four days ago contained testimony that he heard Moon Joon-yong say, ‘I did what my dad said me to do." However, the testimony was turned out to have been offered by Lee’s brother who played a role of Moon’s friend. Lee claims that it was organized and directed by the party.

Prosecutors should thoroughly investigate the case to find out how many of high-level members were involved, whether it is an individual’s simple manipulation or the party’s planned crime. The People’s Party should fully cooperate with prosecutors’ investigations. It should not make an unfounded claim with independent counsel. Many allegations were made around Moon Joon-yong but there was no clear clue. There is no need to make controversy over independent counsel.

The party’s response to the revelation of the alleged manipulation makes us doubtful whether the People’s Party is a responsible public party. Park Joo-sun, the party’s emergency committee chairman, made a public apology on Monday but it was a confession as prosecutors began to zero in. Key members of the party do not take responsibility and just point to the party’s leadership at the time of the presidential election just as it is none of their business. Park Jie-won, the party’s chief campaigner, makes an absurd argument for independent council, and Ahn Chel-soo is silent.

The People’s Party had a crisis in the wake of the so-called “rebate incident” last year. The case where all people involved were ruled innocent in both the entry and upper level court decisions stemmed from an anonymous letter sent to the party and revealed the limitation of a small party. Without a painful self-reflection and an overhaul equivalent to the disintegration of the party, the People’s Party would barely survive. Ahn Cheol-soo should shoulder the responsibility and make a sincere apology.