[EDITORIALS]Party merging must stop

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[EDITORIALS]Party merging must stop

The presidential election will take place in 46 days, but the voters still do not know who the final candidates will be. The candidates have about 20 days before registering to run for the presidency. But if the candidate and his party are really determined to lead this nation by winning this election, they must announce that fact immediately.

Much of the confusion was created by the bewildering attitudes of the Millennium Democratic Party and the National Unity 21, Chung Mong-joon's camp. The hidden motives behind the political chaos are a ploy to win over the Grand National Party's candidate, Lee Hoi-chang.

Because the MDP lacked confidence to win the election with its candidate, a move to choose a stronger candidate among presidential hopefuls, including Mr. Chung, has emerged. But recent polls show that Mr. Roh's support has grown while support for Mr. Chung has diminished. Such changes in support percentages have made the situation even more clouded.

Mr. Roh's camp has been dismissing the idea of merging with Mr. Chung's camp for fear of losing his candidacy. Mr. Chung, whose approval rating is still higher than Mr. Roh's, was retreating from his original stance, hoping to turn every circumstance to his advantage. And yet the MDP has not firmed up its position because Mr. Roh's camp distrusts Mr. Chung, while Mr. Chung has not decided what to do either. It is no surprise that the political arena is perplexed.

Whether to form an alliance or to merge with another camp to win the presidential election is completely dependent upon free will. The presidential candidates, however, must at least mull over their ideologies and policy lines before embarking on such strategies. Since the candidates have made widely differing policies in their pledges, they must make clear how to adjust differences. And yet there is no mention of such discussions.

In order to ease the people's confusion, the discussion of merging camps, regardless of principles, must be put to an end. Politicians should understand that the voters no longer see the presidential election as their festival. Rather, the voters are fed up with the political chaos.
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