[EDITORIALS]National Assembly is a joke

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[EDITORIALS]National Assembly is a joke

The National Assembly is our law-making body, and it is making fun of the law. It not only has failed to form a new assembly by the deadline, but also has ignored the May 30 statutory deadline to elect its next speaker and committee chairmen. What we have is a paralyzed assembly whose members cannot make law and continue to dip into the official purse.

The primary responsibility for this situation lies in the parties' blind pursuit of party interest and irresponsibility. Our country has been left without a speaker to receive dignitaries visiting during the World Cup. Dozens of bills sit unattended. Fighting over their share of interest, the parties brought shame on themselves.

The assembly has also failed to process the resignations of four members who are running in the June local elections. As a result, we have candidates who are still representatives. The election law has been amended to accept the candidacy of members who have tendered their resignations, but we cannot help but feel weary about representatives who would go to these lengths to create unnecessary confusion.

At the center of the paralysis is the Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party's fight over the speaker's seat. The speaker ought to take a neutral position, and the parties have even amended the law, making the election a free vote. It is not right, therefore, that the GNP nominated a party candidate. This is nothing but heavy-handedness by the largest party.

The MDP's response to this has been just as childish. The party said in the first session that the speaker should come from the ruling party. When it started suffering in popularity and the president left the party, it was quick to say that it is no longer the ruling party.

Now, it has made an about-face again and talks about "a policy-making ruling party," demanding the speaker's seat. They swallow what is sweet but spit out when it tastes bitter. Disregarding the duty of forming the assembly, using their dispute as an excuse is tantamount to abandoning the least decency required in politics.

The temporary session expires in four days and failure to reach agreement will mean that a new assembly will have to wait until the August elections. Urgent business is on deck. The assembly should not wait for time to run out.

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