[EDITORIALS]It’s up to the prime ministerIt seems that the crippled operations of the National Assembly caused by Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan’s degradation of the opposition will persist for some time. The governing Uri Party is even indicating its intention to open the Assembly in the absence of the opposition, saying, “The Grand Nationals must apologize to the ruling party for attacking it as leftist.” On the other hand, the Grand Nationals are demanding Mr. Lee’s dismissal.
The Assembly shouldn’t be left idling like this. The one who started the trouble must end it.
Mr. Lee is the one who provided the reason for the Assembly to come to a halt. During his European tour, he said, “If the Grand National Party takes power, history will regress.”
If only he admits that the remark was made “in drunkenness,” and expressed regret, things wouldn’t have come to this. But he refused to apologize and instead demanded, “The Grand Nationals must reflect on its criticism against the Uri Party over its political color and promise not to repeat the same in the future.”
We don’t mean to say that the Grand Nationals were right when they launched an attack on the opposition based on its political inclinations.
But in retrospect, the ruling camp criticized the opposition by calling them “conservative nuts” or “reactionaries.” The leadership of the governing and opposition parties can settle the issue by agreeing to refrain from such slander.
The attitude of some Uri Party members only fans the flames. They defend Mr. Lee by saying: “[Now is time] to fight the opposition, and Mr. Lee expressed such an intention.” “Among future presidential hopefuls, there is no one as daring as Mr. Lee.”
If a prime minister under a Grand National government criticized the Uri Party like Mr. Lee did, would it be possible for the Uri Party to continue without receiving an apology? As a ruling party in the Assembly that takes responsibility for state affairs, it is irresponsible and arrogant.
We even wonder whether the ruling party is, on purpose, inducing the opposition to boycott the Assembly and stage struggles outside the Assembly.
The leaders and representatives of the Uri party who worry over the future of the nation should step forward now.
They should resolve the situation by persuading Mr. Lee to apologize. People shouldn’t be made to feel frustrated any further.