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[Editorial] A right path taken by Rep. Kang

Posted January. 04, 2001 19:31,   


The ruling Millennium Democratic Party`s scheme to pave the way for the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) to form a floor negotiating group was virtually abandoned due to strong objections from Rep. Kang Chang-Hee, a ULD vice president. The failure of the MDP`s plan was not unexpected, based on the fact that it violated basic political principles.

At first, the ruling MDP said the formation of a ULD floor group by "borrowing" three lawmakers was unavoidable if the ruling party was to succeed in bringing about political stability. But this paper argued that the scheme was no more than an attempt to deceive the people and demanded the ruling party to follow the right path. Rep. Kang also opposed the plan, saying it lacked justification, and called on the leaders of both the MDP and ULD to return the lawmakers to their original party.

Nevertheless, President Kim Dae-Jung said that changing the party affiliations of the three lawmakers was essential for political stability, and MDP chairman Kim Joong-Kwon went so far as to stress that their new party affiliations would serve as the cornerstone for stabilizing the political situation.

It seems that neither they nor the ruling party are aware of the current state of public sentiment on the MDP-ULD coalition and the ULD`s hopes to form a floor negotiation body. The very reason that the political arena is in such a state of disarray these days is that politicians remain ignorant of the currents of popular feeling. Because principles and righteousness were ignored, the political world has slid even deeper into the abyss and the economy has plunged further into chaos.

What`s more, the ULD held a meeting of its executive council and decided to expel Rep. Kang from the party. Consequently, if the 17-member ULD is to form a floor group with 20 members, it will have to "borrow" one more lawmaker from the MDP or others, in addition to the three MDP members who already joined the splinter party. Is this justifiable? In the ULD rank and file, voices were raised in opposition to the party`s decision to oust Rep. Kang

Most important at this juncture is the submission to reason. The three Assembly members involved should return to the MDP, and then the rival parties should agree to revise the National Assembly Law to the effect that the ULD can form a floor body with its present lawmakers. Of course, there is no guarantee that political stability can be established based only on the ULD`s success in setting up a floor body. In fact, the ULD`s ascent to the status of floor negotiating body runs counter to the wishes of the people, as expressed in the general elections.

President Kim said in his meeting with opposition Grand National Party (GNP) leader Lee Hoi-Chang at Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday that if the ruling and opposition parties passed a revision of the National Assembly Law to pave the way for the ULD to form a floor group, he was ready to send the three lawmakers back to the MDP.

He also contended that the GNP should be held responsible for any parliamentary failure to approve the revision bill. Kim`s remarks are tantamount to arbitrarily creating a ULD floor body, irrespective of the people`s will. If this actually happens, the political situation will only be further complicated.