Go to contents

[Editorial] A National Assembly That Looks Away From National Interests Has No Reason for Being

[Editorial] A National Assembly That Looks Away From National Interests Has No Reason for Being

Posted February. 10, 2004 23:15,   


The National Assembly drifted away from the public by itself yesterday. The National Assembly on February 9 looked more like a private interest group than the people’s representative institution taking responsibility of the nation’s destiny when it turned away the resolution on ratification of the Korea-Chile FTA bill, a troop dispatch resolution to Iraq that it already should have voted on, and when it took the decisive action of “taking an additional vote” to shamelessly include a resolution calling for the release of Rep. Suh Chung-won.

There is no other choice but to be skeptical at the frankly revealed partial interests and selfishness for the general election that lawmakers exhibited, instead of making their efforts for the national interest and the people’s fortune. It has no reason for being if it makes a fool of the people and looks away from the national assembly. The April general elections will be a strict judgement of corruption and an incompetent National Assembly looking away from the national interest.

Forming FTAs is a worldwide general trend. It is an unavoidable realistic conclusion that concluding FTAs with many countries is a great help for the national economy. Moreover, it is regrettable that Korea fights for the lowest ranking in terms of FTA competition, even though the Chile-Korea FTA will be effective. Nevertheless, the National Assembly went back on its people, disputing “the voting method.” If people gained anything from this, they clearly witnessed lawmakers’ narrow-minded views, misunderstanding of general trends due to regional selfishness, and the Korean leadership’s incompetence for being at a loss in front of opponents with lawmakers from agricultural districts.

Why are there none among numerous lawmakers who volunteer to keep national interests and tread the path of virtue even though they may lose the election? It already failed to vote on the FTA three times instead of once or twice, so how can Korea explain that to its counterparts, and how it will negotiate FTAs with Japan and Singapore? Falling overseas reliance?

Failing to vote on troop bills is also irresponsible. The political arena was cowardly consistent to try to read others’ minds over the troop dispatch plan the government prepared in consideration of the US-ROK alliance, public opinion’s trends, and the situation in Iraq. What do young soldiers who might go to Iraq by order of the nation think about them?

In particular, the opportunistic behavior of the Uri Party is a betrayal of the people. How many voters will believe that they have the blueprint for national administration if they advocated leaving the troop dispatch plan submitted to the National Assembly last December as it was and requested additional party agreement before the presentation of the bill at the plenary session?

The attitude of the GNP and MDP in putting together a plan calling for the release of Rep. Suh and a resolution investigating the illicit presidential funds of President Roh and Uri Party leader Chung Dong-young between the two bills secretly is not honorable regardless of the propriety. The relationship between the GNP and MDP is in collusion for party interests and it looks like a deformed illicit union separating both from the national interest and justice.

The political arena is still shuffling off responsibility and attacks itself, laying the fault at the doors of others. Indeed, it is impossible for most lawmakers to hear the people’s cry for the national interest when they only have the slogans for the general elections: “We are against the FTA” and “We are against the troop dispatch” in mind. Nevertheless, it is thankful that the term of the 16th membership, that has dug its own grave, will be soon closed. Now voters should make a firm resolution to set up the National Assembly by strictly exercising their sovereign right to vote for an upright, representative government.