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Normalization of National Assembly

Posted June. 24, 2002 23:17,   


It’s is welcoming news that political parties are moving to restart the parliament session after a month-long deadlock. They seems to play in the World Cup tune with the buoyed public sentiment, but it is encouraging that they are moving in the right direction. In particular, in an unprecedented move, they agreed to elect a parliamentary speaker through a floor vote.

It is too early, however, to give them credit as people have yet to see their action plans and determination to carry them out. February this year, the assembly passed a revision, which requires speaker to abandon party membership to take a neutral stance on key issues. But the ruling Millennium Democratic Party and the opposition Grand National Party have been fighting to take the helm.

GNP insisted on the top job citing its being the largest party, while MDP arguing that the ruling party keep the post. They seemed to forget that they were set to make a change in the first place. A breakthrough came yesterday as MDP accepted GNP’s proposal on a floor vote. Watching the latest power struggle, we cannot but worry that they are still putting interests of their parties over those of the people.

Their agreement is a quid-pro-quo deal in which GNP takes the top post while MPD holds the chairmanship of the Government Administration and Local Autonomy Committee, which covers election-related affairs.

As long as they continue to pursue self-interests, however, another delay looks almost certain. This should not be the case. Since they decided to normalize National Assembly, they have to do so in no time.

The month-long deadlock has already delayed passage of bills directly related to lives of people. And people are the ones who cost the burden and pay for their poor jobs. The World Cup finals are due to end in five days. It’s now their turn to give people a hope by serving the public. Formation of parliamentary leadership is one of priorities. There’s no time for political bickering.