[EDITORIALS]Nobody is looking goodThe Grand National Party’s move to boycott Assembly proceedings and tender resignations of its assemblymen en masse should be reconsidered. The party is deciding whether to go out on the street in protest against President Roh Moo-hyun’s veto of the independent counsel bill for a special prosecutor to investigate some of Mr. Roh’s aides. If it does, it will be open to severe criticism.
That does not mean that Mr. Roh’s veto was appropriate. The bill passed the Assembly with the support of over two-thirds of the members, and Mr. Roh’s veto is responsible for the crippled operations of the Assembly. But that does not justify the Grand National Party’s tactics.
Article 53 of the Constitution provides a veto override procedure. If the Assembly votes to override by a two-thirds majority with more than half the Assembly members present, the bill becomes law regardless of the president’s veto.
If the Grand Nationals want the conduct of Mr. Roh’s close aides investigated, it must move to override the veto on the Assembly floor. It must let people know how unreasonable the veto was and criticize the president. If it opposes attempts in the Assembly to override the veto, its motivations will be viewed with suspicion.
There is no political gain in refusing to attend the Assembly, leaving it paralyzed. It is a suicidal act. In the past, people saw enough of such behavior by the opposition. If the Grand National Party gives up its responsibility to oversee the administration, it will lose popular support. The party is already under attack, effectively, by Mr. Roh’s charges of an “illegal strike by the majority party!”
It is fortunate that the party leadership show signs of changing its mind. The party must regain the support of the legislators of the Millennium Democratic Party and the United Liberal Democrats, who supported the bill earlier, and renew the unity of its own party. Then it must promote a veto override. It might fail to do so, but the party would be entitled to talk of democracy and the rule of law if it adjusts to fickle fortune.