[EDITORIALS]Unlovely political typhoon

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[EDITORIALS]Unlovely political typhoon

A tumultuous road lies before the National Assembly. Its last regular session under the Kim Dae-jung administration opens Monday amid unprecedented partisan confrontation. The Millennium Democratic Party has seized on draft-dodging accusations against the sons of the Grand National Party's presidential candidate, Lee Hoi-chang; the GNP's proposal to oust Justice Minister Kim Jung-kil has been blocked; and the GNP rejected President Kim Dae-jung's two prime minister candidates. Do-or-die partisanship looms in the next 70 days.

The coming cycle of disclosures, attacks and counterattacks on the Assembly floor leaves our mouths with a bitter-dry taste. As the nation huddled in anxiety and braced for the onslaught of Typhoon Rusa, legislators were seen pointing fingers at each other at the speaker's residence. Their actions, not the pelting rain, flood the public heart with anger and despondency.

Politicians should drop their obstinacy and dogmatism to focus on public welfare issues. They should give up hate and disdain and engage in a positive politics, cooperating to come up with policies for the nation's problems. It is time for the parties to set a new operative framework for the assembly, which is enslaved to the Dec. 19 presidential election. Mr. Kim should try to make the last regular session of his five-year tenure wrap up successfully.

A critical key to defusing this explosive situation lies with the Blue House. The presidential office should no longer insist that the prime minister named by the president take office before parliamentary approval. Mr. Kim may receive a medal for furthering democratic procedures by abolishing the nominee system. He should name the current deputy prime minister for finance and economy as a prime minister.

The GNP must show its prowess as a majority party. Its shouting that it will impeach the president should he name another prime minister designate sounds like bully-talk; its plan to try again to oust the justice minister is a poor idea. But the justice minister should heed the criticism, replacing some prosecutors and assuring the neutrality of the investigation in the draft-dodging case. The MDP should patiently await the results of investigation, before attacking Mr. Lee and stirring political controversy.
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