[EDITORIALS]The art of jumping ship

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[EDITORIALS]The art of jumping ship

It's sad to watch the Donggyodong faction, the leading support group of the Millennium Democratic Party, crying for a unified presidential candidate from the ruling camp. The call for an unified candidate is, in practice, a demand by the faction that Roh Moo-hyun, the candidate party members elected, step down from the race. The reason for the faction's demand is that Mr. Roh has little chance to win the presidency. Though it may be time for migratory politicians to change their alignments, it is pitiful to see MDP members jumping about, depending on approval ratings.

As the symbol and identity of the opposition, a characteristic that they have maintained for the past 30 years, the Donggyodong faction should behave with discretion. They say they are not ready to take action, but exercising pressure on the party's presidential candidate on the pretext of a low approval rating deserves criticism.

Kim Young-bae's remark that "The party primary was a sham!" and the bolting from the party by a drove of senior members who were in high government posts, have boosted suspicions of a secret agreement between President Kim Dae-jung and Chung Mong-joon, or the DMJ coalition, which takes the initials of their names. Because the defection of Kim Min-seok, who was the MDP's candidate for Seoul mayor, has aroused suspicions, the opportunistic attitude of the Donggyodong faction could make the DMJ coalition an established fact. Regardless of the feasibility of the tie-up, the move does not look desirable. If voters get the impression that President Kim has rendered clandestine support to one of the candidates, the results won't be good.

The absence of political visions or principles makes us suspect the founding of the MDP 2 years and 9 months ago was done to deceive the people. Although the new party poses as a reform party, its members are tainted with corruption scandals and have been involved in a flurry of political realignments. Party members need to learn from history.
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