[EDITORIALS]Turmoil and mudslingingThe National Assembly is in a crippled state because of the recent remarks of Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan. He said during his European tour, “If the Grand National Party takes power, then history will retreat.” During an Assembly hearing on government affairs, he said, “The Grand Nationals received tens of billions of won in truck in illegal political money. How can I say that such a party is a good party?”
The opposition Grand National Party may well ask for the dismissal of Mr. Lee and boycott Assembly hearings. We believe it is up to Mr. Lee to resolve the problem. We ask him to offer an apology to the Grand Nationals. Mr. Lee’s remarks were not fit words for a prime minister. They are not graceful and did not show any consideration at all for a political partner.
The hearing on government affairs at the Assembly is not wrangling at a market place. The hearings are where the representatives of the people and government officials discuss state affairs. They serve as a communications channel that connects lawmakers and government officials. How can a politics of reconciliation be possible when the prime minister rebuffs his political partner in such a place of negotiations and discussion? Mr. Lee deserves the criticism that he disrupts the basis on which the opposition party exists and denies multi-party, representative democracy.
There were differences in amounts, but was the Grand National Party the only party that received illegal political funds? We believe Mr. Lee’s remarks, that sound as if he is good while the other is evil, is only for his self-aggrandizement.
Some in the governing Uri Party also suggested that they have to be tough against the opposition party. We believe such an attitude by the governing party to be very irresponsible. What if national politics descended into turmoil because of the party? It acts as if it were a governing party of the military regimes in the past.
The opposition should restrain itself as well. The opinion that it should strongly counter the governing party is gaining support inside the Grand National Party. That kind of a strong stance is understandable, but the party should bear in mind that doing so would only aggravate the people’s lives. We believe it is very low politics for the Grand National Party to label the Roh administration and governing party a “leftist regime,” and “juche ideology followers.”