[EDITORIALS]Politicians flying to and fro

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[EDITORIALS]Politicians flying to and fro

The presidential election is just two months away and political migrants have resumed their travels. Eleven lawmakers who defected from the ruling Millennium Democratic Party are justifying their behavior as a step to "unifying the camp" in the ruling party that opposes Lee Hoi-chang, the presidential candidate of the opposition Grand National Party. Most of the migrants are those who benefited most under the Kim Dae-jung administration. Secretary generals, who handle the grip on the organization and finances of the MDP, are leaving it. What people see is not political commitment or vision, but the opportunistic pursuit of personal interests.

Kim Myung-sup left the ruling party last weekend, and Kim Won-gil and Park Sang-kyu followed yesterday. They will be joined by Yoo Yong-tae, the current secretary general of the ruling party, this weekend. Kim Myung-sup and Yoo Yong-tae were once members of the Democratic Justice Party, the precursor of the opposition Grand National Party. They joined the Millennium Democratic Party in 1998, the heydays of the ruling party, skimmed off the cream, and are now brazenly packing their bags.

Three other former members of the ruling camp, Choi Myung-hun, Chang Tae-wan and Park Sang-hee, are showing how unscrupulous people can be. They are also part of the group that asks for unifying the ruling party presidential camp, and they also asked that their names be eliminated from the party rolls. They were elected by a national constituency, thus they automatically lose their seat if they leave their party, unless the party takes their name off the list. This is disloyal and opportunistic behavior.

Mr. Chang resisted the military coup led by Chun Doo Hwan in Dec. 12, 1979. Mr. Choi was a beneficiary of the Chun administration as a two-term lawmaker of the Democratic Justice Party. Mr. Choi is heading the unification group -- a despicable lot. If the three newest defectors are committed to the "unification" of the presidential candidate, they must relinquish their seats and leave the party with dignity. Their request for removal from party ranks is immoral.
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