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[Editorial] Beware arrogance

Ruling bloc begin to press Yoon to resign soon after landslide win

Shortly after the ruling bloc won a landslide victory in the April 15 general election, it embarked on some worrisome acts.

Referring to Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, Woo Hee-jong, co-leader of the Citizen Party, which had an electoral alliance with the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, posted on Facebook on Thursday, “Citizens who held candlelight rallies in front of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office last year are now asking what course you will take.”

Just a day after the elections, he effectively pressed Yoon to resign.

Last year, supporters of President Moon Jae-in’s appointment of Cho Kuk as justice minister held candlelight rallies against the prosecution’s investigation into corruption allegations involving his family. Cho eventually stepped down as minister, succumbing to enormous rallies demanding his removal.

The main faction of the Citizen Party is a group that led the rallies advocating Cho and demanding Yoon’s removal. Seventeen candidates of the party won proportional representation seats in the elections.

Woo’s remarks reveal the true colors of the ruling party, which has aligned itself with pro-Cho rallies.

Choi Kang-wook, one of three proportional representation lawmaker-elects of the Open Democratic Party, posted on his Facebook on Saturday that “less than a handful of corrupt people will continue their dirty political maneuvering. I’ll get back at them so that they can realize clearly that the world has changed.” The Open Democratic Party supports Moon.

Considering that Choi vowed to seek to reform the prosecution and news media (as a lawmaker), “corrupt people” seem to mean Yoon and prosecutors who investigated Cho’s family and news outlets that reported many suspected irregularities critically.

Choi is a former presidential secretary for public office discipline and awaits trial after being indicted for issuing a fake certificate of internship to Cho’s son, for admission to a law school. Choi was also accused by a civic group of violating the Public Officials’ Ethics Act, which bans the possession of a certain amount of stock holdings.

Choi said in a radio interview late last month that “when a new agency to investigate high-ranking public officials will be launched, Yoon and his wife may become the first to be investigated.”

The agency is not a means for political retaliation. It must not be used as a puppet by the current regime, either. But his remark raises concerns that this may happen.

Supporters of Moon and Cho argue that the prosecution under Yoon investigated Cho’s family excessively with a political intent. But that is less than convincing. News media raised suspicions, and naturally the prosecution investigated them. The prosecution just acted upon existing laws.

Moon loyalists’ resumed attacks on Yoon shortly after the elections raise suspicions that they may try to influence prosecutorial investigations that will soon be resumed now that the elections were over.

The prosecution plans to carry out an additional probe into Cheong Wa Dae’s intervention into Ulsan mayoral election in 2018, hedge fund fraud involving a former presidential official, and insider trading accusations that may be traced to figures close to the Moon regime.

Probably people did not give the ruling party a sweeping election victory to remove Yoon and stop investigations into alleged irregularities by those in power. People did not elect their occupation forces, either.

An election win does not mean that unlawful acts can change into lawful ones. It should not be taken as a license to invalidate wrongs. Trying to take revenge on the prosecution now that they have won an election is an act of destroying democracy and the rule of law.

Moon loyalists began to mount pressure on Yoon shortly after the general elections in which the main opposition party failed to win votes enough to check the ruling party and its satellite party. More worrisome acts may follow.

Citizen Party’s Woo posted in his Facebook, “Wings of imagination grow (after the ruling party’s overwhelming election win). I wonder if we can abolish the National Security Act.”

He also said that the popular support (for the ruling party) reminds me of debates on amending the Constitution.

Being elected as ruling party lawmakers, they must try to figure out ways to improve the livelihoods of the people. But some of them think about their political retributions or serious ideological change that can shake the foundation of the country.

If they try to rule the nation with a “this-is-our-world” arrogance, people will turn their backs soon.