[EDITORIALS]Pouting and sulking

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[EDITORIALS]Pouting and sulking

The Millennium Democratic Party was absolutely wrong to boycott the National Assembly after one of its lawmakers bolted the party to join the Grand National Party. Many MDP lawmakers have hinted that they were going to leave, but the party used the single legislator's departure to keep the Assembly closed. That is absurd.

Of course the MDP is not happy that Jeon Yong-hak joined the political enemy's camp. Representative Jeon's behavior was not beyond reproach, but he is only the first robin of the political spring. More than 10 MDP representatives, saying they oppose the presidential candidacy of Roh Moo-hyun, have publicly spoken of grabbing their hats. Nine of them, in fact, officially vowed to leave the party on Wednesday. They will probably not be the only ones to leave.

The Millennium Democratic Party itself has admitted that its presidential candidate, chosen through a series of primary elections, is not strong enough to win the presidency. It has discussed publicly how to launch a new party and has negotiated internally with anti-Roh factions to select a new candidate. One MDP lawmaker said the party's presidential primaries were a fraud.

The MDP is responsible for its own fiasco and disarray. The departure of one assemblyman does not change anything, and we dislike the idea that its internal problems have shut down the Assembly.

Instead of demanding an apology from the Grand National Party, the MDP itself must repent for its own failures. Only recently, Representative An Dong-sean left the MDP and joined Chung Mong-joon; the MDP reacted mildly then.

The National Assembly is scheduled to end a month earlier than in normal years because of the December presidential election. Lawmakers do not have the luxury of time; they must work on a tax revision bill, a mandatory step before they consider next year's budget bill.

The MDP should also conclude this administration at the last Assembly session. It is simply unreasonable to blame others and to boycott the Assembly. A split in a party is never an excuse for a public political party to neglect its public duties.
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