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Making up for lost time

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July 13,2009
Making up for lost time
The Democratic Party, which has boycotted the National Assembly for more than one and half a months, made a sudden decision to enter the National Assembly yesterday. The party expected that the public struggle against President Lee Myung-bak will be further reignited by the burial of the former President Roh Moo-hyun, after the ceremonial 49th-day of his passing.

However, the situation was different from what they expected.

Now, as criticisms are mounting about their long-term abandonment of the National Assembly amid such miserable conditions as the economic crisis, non-regular workers’ upheaval and cyber terrorism, the party’s popularity has fallen again. The party seems to have considered that its persistence in refusing to enter the Assembly may provide an excuse for the Grand National Party to enforce the passing of some law drafts in dispute.

Their refusal was a sub-par strategy with no reasonable excuses. The party has presented five preconditions for their attendance at the National Assembly: the president’s apology for Roh’s death; censuring the prosecution’s chief executives; a special probe into the Park Yeon-cha case; a legislative investigation on the prosecution; and organization of the legislative special committee on the reformation of the prosecution.

Their request for the president’s apology was inappropriate, and the responsibility of the prosecution has nothing to do with the opening of the Assembly. The rest should be resolved by deliberations. However, their abandonment of the National Assembly for one and half a months will be recorded in history as an irresponsible act by the main opposition party. Such dereliction of duty will hereafter no longer be allowed.

The Democratic Party should respect the principles of parliamentary democracy and cooperate in dealing with the agenda to compensate for the losses of the National Assembly.

The party clarified that it will prevent the passing of the disputed media reform law. If they mean to do this by an abnormal procedure - not debate, negotiation and voting, but through a physical blockade - they are heading in the wrong direction.

The party has presented an amendment overlooking the planned deregulation of the media industry.

If the bill’s provisions and a subsequent struggle converge to prevent the passing of the media laws, their attendance at the National Assembly should be regarded as “attendance in disguise.”

The amendment to the non-regular workers’ act, as well as the media law, should be dealt with in a reasonable manner. This session of the National Assembly ends on the 25th day of the month.

The regular session of the National Assembly in September should be focused on deliberating over the budget and devising accompanying bills. If dealing with the bills in dispute is postponed, the regular session will be influenced by political struggles. In preparing for autumn, we should finalize our tasks in a swift and mature manner during this Assembly session.



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