Ruling Party Deserves ImpeachmentJudged by its recent behavior, it seems that the ruling Millennium Democratic Party deserves to be impeached even more than the prosecutor general. While the motion to impeach the prosecutor general and his deputy was being considered by the National Assembly toward the end of last week, the ruling party disregarded its basic responsibilities as a political party, violated various rules and regulations and went against a number of its promises and pledges. Party leaders, having betrayed their lack of ability to manage politics and government in a lawful way, should apologize to the nation and make amends.
The ruling party deserves impeachment first because it violated National Assembly Law. It attempted at first to block the impeachment motion through expedient means, such as asking its members and members of the United Liberal Democrats not to attend the session. But as several ULD representatives insisted on attending, ruling party members blocked the opening by physically restraining Speaker Lee Man-sup. That is not only a violation of the National Assembly Law, but also a contradiction of President Kim Dae-jung''s repeated pledges to put everything to a vote in the assembly.
The second reason that the ruling party deserves impeachment is that it trampled on the spirit of the law. The MDP has been arguing that the motion in question does not meet the requirements of the National Assembly Law. If that is the case, why did the ruling party agree at the whips'' meeting to introduce it? The ruling party''s insistence on the disqualification of the motion is sheer nonsense.
The ruling party deserves impeachment, third, because of suspicions that it wants to protect the top prosecutors, who are part of its clique. The prosecution has been strongly suspected of collaborating with the Millennium Democratic Party in a number of recent cases. The Election Administration Commission has, for example, registered a number of protests about the way the prosecution dealt with election-related cases, and has applied to the court for arbitration in some of the cases. The MDP induced strong suspicions of collusion with the prosecution by disclosing, in a general meeting of lawmakers, that the party leadership maintained close consultations with the prosecution on their members'' election law violation cases. With such a record, the attempt to save the leading prosecutors by any means and at any cost was simply impudent.
The fourth reason the ruling party deserves to be impeached is that the implementation of economic policy has been hindered by its incompetence and irresponsibility. The impeachment motion was a natural result of the suspicions created by prosecutors themselves. If there are grounds to oppose the motion, ruling party members should have taken the trouble to attend the session and explain them. Instead, they abandoned the National Assembly and consequently endangered the timely mobilization of public funds and other economic policies. The MDP has not acted in a manner befitting a ruling party.
Were the impeachment motion against top prosecutors an unreasonable and partisan one, the opposition Grand National Party would have to take the blame. But it does not look as though this is the case. The insistence of several United Liberal Democrat representatives that they would attend the session, seems to reflect public feeling. If the ruling party ignores such clear public disapproval and clings only to partisan interests, it will soon lose its credibility altogether. We implore the party, for its own good, to introduce some reason and common sense into this conflict.
by Hong Joon-hyong