[EDITORIALS] 4-party system unnervesFinally the Millennium Democratic Party has split, making a total of four major parties in Korean politics. The division of the governing party means that a small party is the ruling party for the first time since the constitution was established. Naturally this leads to concern over possible further political confusion and unrest.
The Millennium Democratic Party, the new party ― which has does not have an official name yet ― and the government should combine their efforts to make sure that this new political structure does not produce chaos in governance.
The new system is the result of political calculations aimed at April’s general elections. There is a danger that the public welfare will be ignored once the politicians start to concentrate on the election campaign in earnest. Should the four parties neglect our country’s serious situation, it would be a national tragedy.
In order to minimize such confusion and insecurity, the two parties emerging from the former government party should establish their identities quickly. The relationship between the Millennium Democratic Party and the new party must be set clearly. President Roh Moo-hyun must clarify his opinion. It is unnatural for the president to publicly support the new party while remaining in the Millennium Democratic Party. An evasive attitude in hopes of garnering more votes in the general elections will only cause confusion and the new party will be going against the political reform it claims to pursue.
What is especially important now is the cooperation between the government and the opposition parties. Thus the administration should be even more sincere in explaining its policies and seeking cooperation from the opposition parties than it had in the past.
Without such efforts, the conflict between the government and the National Assembly would only grow deeper and throw the country into further chaos. If so, Mr. Roh’s political experiment of dividing the government party for reform’s sake would become a national disaster.