[EDITORIALS]Stop the party squabblingIs the governing political party doing anything? Piles of problems requiring immediate attention lie ahead for President Roh Moo-hyun and his administration, but the governing party has shown nothing other than fighting to create a new political party. A series of uncertainties loom on the nation’s horizon -- an unstable national security prompted by North Korea’s nuclear program, the independent truckers’ strike that immobilized cargo traffic, the challenge by the civil servants labor union and a deepening economic crisis. And they loom larger by the day. But day after day, the governing party is locked deep in a power struggle. It is unbelievable that the party that should lend support to the new administration’s reform program and other administrative initiatives is the party that is holding the administration back.
Hahn Hwa-kap, the former party chairman, in an interview criticized the party’s new leadership by saying that it is “third-rate politics” to form a new political party because there is a new president. We withhold judgment whether Mr. Hahn’s remark is right or wrong. His attribution to the administration’s lack of policies that give hope, governance without principle or focus and dissension in the governing party as the cause of crisis for the 100-days-old administration is persuasive. Of course, Mr. Hahn cannot avoid accountability, as a member of the governing party.
But we watch with keen interest the new stage in the internal turmoil brought on by his remark because it has raised the possibility of a breakup. But the choice is theirs to make. What concerns us is that this feud is going on too long and will weaken the government’s energy in tackling the economic crisis and social problems.
It is time for President Roh, who ignited the move for a new political party, to intervene. He should not be standing on the sidelines, quoting the principle of a separation between the government and the governing party, but exercising leadership to expedite a solution to the Millenium Democratic Party feud. The governing party should no longer be a burden to the country or to the voters.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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