[EDITORIALS]All lose in political deadlockThe main political factions are on a head-on collision course after the National Assembly's rejection of Prime Minister-designate Chang Dae-hwan and the pending bill of dismissal against Justice Minister Kim Jung-gil. Even though we expected a relentless showdown before the presidential election, this is simply too much.
The political establishment, including the presidential office, is displaying neither respectful restraint nor an air of concern for the path this nation is treading. The blame game persists. The reaction from the presidential office is especially hard to accept, considering where the bulk of responsibility for the two consecutive rejections rests. It issued a statement of "regret" and insists on naming at the earliest date the next prime minister-designate, a position description decried as potentially unconstitutional.
The current abnormal state of confusion should not be a point of regret; the position of the prime minister is vacant. But the insistence on naming another "prime minister-designate," rather than an "acting prime minister," as prescribed by the Government Organization Act, is simply unsound obstinacy. Such a position disregards the principles of the acting-prime minister system, and overlooks the realities concerning who indeed can withstand legislative scrutiny and fulfill the limited six-month tenure.
However belated, a modest effort at meeting by politicians on both sides of the aisle is needed. The bickering surrounding the justice minister's dismissal bill may culminate in a political deadlock. Considering the suspicions of political manipulation in the enduring allegations of draft-dodging incited by the Millennium Democratic Party, the Grand National Party's request to replace the prosecutor in charge and the ensuing outcry at having that demand turned down are not without reason. Nevertheless, both a trial by force on the bill, and the Millennium Democratic Party's refusal to abide by majority rule and try to block the legislative procedure, are equally unwise. In the resulting deadlock, all parties lose.
We note with a glimpse of hope National Assembly speaker Park Kwan-yong's skill at smooth arbitration. The worst of times calls for negotiations, compromise and an adherence to basic principles.