[EDITORIALS]Party poopersAs the Millennium Democratic Party becomes more obvious in its efforts to dissociate itself from President Kim Dae-jung, the conflicts between the president and his party have become more visible. Friends of the party's presidential candidate, Roh Moo-hyun, were targeting Mr. Kim when they blamed the rampant political corruption involving the president's sons for the landslide defeat in the June 13 local elections. Those loyal to President Kim within the party were outraged by it. As a result, the ruling camp has fallen deeper and deeper into internal discord.
We welcome the MDP's plan to introduce confirmation hearings for the heads of the government institutions with immense power in order to root out corruption. The MDP was vehemently opposed to the idea when the Grand National Party brought it up long ago. Now the MDP makes itself look ridiculous by making a fuss over the idea as if it belatedly found a great solution. But we don't see the point in making an issue out of it.
Given the situation in which the MDP is put, we can understand why it is asking for the dissolution of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation for the Asia Pacific Region and for the resignation of the president's first son, Kim Hong-il, from the party, although both requests ticked off the Blue House. That tells us again how serious the rift has become.
We have more problems with the MDP's reasoning. It is a shameless act if the MDP does not feel responsible for the government run by President Kim since he already resigned from the party. The MDP took advantage of all the benefits as the ruling party. But if its members are pointing at President Kim for the government's failures and for the corruption in order to avoid the people's criticism, that is completely negating party politics. It also confirms how truly unfaithful they are. We cannot see a real political party there, which supposedly aims to produce the next president of this country. We cannot be sure if the MDP will take responsibility for anything that it does in the future. It is highly likely that that party members will try to avoid doing so, borrowing any excuse.
Without a strong will by the ruling camp, corruption cannot be rooted out simply by lip service. Conflicts within the ruling camp can only exacerbate the troubled economy.