Difficult Times Call for Principles

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Difficult Times Call for Principles

A physical blockade of the impeachment motion against top prosecutors by the ruling Millennium Democratic Party resulted in paralysis of the National Assembly. When the economy is under the threat of another crisis, such a paralysis causes serious concern about the future of the country. This is a time when cooperation between the political parties is more vitally needed than ever to overcome the difficulties, and what has been happening is truly frustrating. To find a way of mobilizing public funds, aside from anything else, the National Assembly should be at work right at this moment.

There exists a way to straighten up the situation: undoing what has been badly done and starting all over in the right direction.

The primary fault is with MDP, which ignored the National Assembly Law and blocked the impeachment motion with physical force - an impeachment motion based on public distrust of the prosecution. If the ruling party finds a way to reintroduce the motion to the National Assembly and the government makes an extraordinary effort to reform the prosecutor''s office, it might restore its credibility.

The opposition Grand National Party is planning to reintroduce the motion, an action opposed by the ruling party on the pretext that the National Assembly Law stipulates that "a rejected motion cannot be proposed or introduced again during the same session in which it is rejected." Since there has been an authoritative interpretation that abandonment of a motion amounts to its rejection, there may be problems in reintroducing the motion to the ongoing ordinary session. But if the ruling party truly wants to undo its wrongdoing and restore parliamentary order, ways can surely be found. For instance, it could promise to open an extraordinary session right after the ordinary session closes to process the impeachment motion. Its apology, of course, should precede other measures.

The prosecutors may do their share in easing the tension by introducing vigorous reforms to their offices. Or the government could execute a relentless investigation of the offices to restore the public trust. This is the fourth time that impeachment of the prosecution has been suggested during this administration. It has repeatedly been the prosecutors'' wont to make political scandals even more scandalous. Public distrust of the prosecution has long been beyond normal levels. The recent court decision on the ''Furgate'' case was a grave warning to the way the prosecution has been behaving itself. Radical reform is urgently needed for the prosecutors offices, and the prosecution leaders mentioned in the impeachment motion should be removed.

The biggest concern is the attitude of the ruling party and the administration toward the impeachment motion. They betrayed their lack of understanding of the situation, their lack of responsibility in choosing a strategy, and their lack of sincerity in dealing with the consequence of their wrongdoing. It makes us doubt their capacity to lead the nation through the difficulties the economy is facing. It seems that the ruling party and the administration are in need of a no less thorough reform than the prosecutors'' offices.

Our legislative and executive leaders seem to favor dealing with difficulties by intensifying prosecutions. Such a tactic will backfire if such institutions do not enjoy the public''s trust. Judiciary activities should go on regardless of political problems and should not be used to avoid political difficulties. When things are difficult, you need all the more to stick to principles.
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