[EDITORIALS]Uri and Roh battle on

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[EDITORIALS]Uri and Roh battle on

President Roh Moo-hyun and the Uri Party are making an unsightly spectacle as they fight about forming a new political party. Mr. Roh raised the first objection, calling the plan a return to regional politics. Kim Geun-tae, Uri’s chairman, called that an “insulting comment.”
Then the Blue House chief of staff, Lee Byung-wan, weighed in, saying the making of a new party was an “old-fashioned differentiation strategy only for the sake of individual political gains.”
We’d like to ask if this is the right time to pick such a fight.
Mr. Roh is already a lame duck and is rapidly losing power as he nears his last year in office, but this is a time we should be concentrating on the National Assembly session. The Assembly has not even passed next year’s budget bill. Both the Blue House and the Uri Party have several thousand pending bills and have attacked the opposition parties for not cooperating to vote on them. Now they are engaged in this political game, and we’re left at a loss.
Nobody in the public would endorse regional politics. But Mr. Roh himself has been meeting former President Kim Dae-jung, the political leader of the Jeolla provinces. Mr. Roh also has visited Mokpo, South Jeolla province and praised the region to the heavens. Isn’t he making use of regionalism himself? He says he wants “balanced national development,” but we wonder if he has some political motives. Mr. Roh was elected on the ticket of the Democratic Party, founded by former President Kim, before he resigned to join the new Uri Party. Mr. Roh was baptized in regionalism, but he is now crying out against it. This eludes our understanding.
Those who want a new party have nothing to say either. They attacked people who were against forming their Uri Party, and they have savored the advantages of a governing party for a long while. Now, as the presidential election nears, they want to dump the party and their responsibility for what they have done or not done for the past four years. If they are bent on luring voters by making another new party, which is nothing but an empty house painted in gaudy colors, they are only trying to trick the public.
If they have the minimum of conscience, they first have to confess their wrongdoings and apologize. Whatever they do, making a new party or splitting from their party, they should do it soon. It is disgusting to see the continued mudslinging, which has nothing to do with the lives of the Korean public.
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